hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    30 Oct 2016 Best
home   ask   best   3 years ago   
Tesla reports first quarterly profit in more than three years reuters.com
818 points by blastofpast  3 days ago   273 comments top 21
mitchellh 3 days ago 16 replies      
Really great news! But something that shouldn't be overlooked is the discounts they gave in Q3 to push deliveries up.

First, those that know me know that I am a Tesla FANATIC. My girlfriend once challenged me to not talk about Tesla (motors, energy, something) for a 24 hour period. I dunno if I've ever done that honestly. I'm also an owner (no surprise given my fanaticism, lucky to be able to afford one). And I also own some TSLA.

Elon sent a company-wide email in Q3 to push sales to show profitability. I don't think its a fluke but they did something they never really do to help reach this number: they offered significant discounts on vehicles (new, pre-owned, showroom). Like, really big discounts (relative to the price of the car).

That certainly helped. Elon also sent an email at the start of Q4 that NO MORE DISCOUNTS are allowed. So I'm really very interested to compare Q3 to Q4 when that comes.

I also happen to know a lot of the people who bought a heavily discounted Tesla in Q3 feel kind of burned that right at the beginning of Q4 Tesla announced the new Autopilot hardware (that isn't retrotfitable on old vehicles). If you did your homework on Tesla though, this wasn't a surprise. It was expected that Tesla would make some big announcement to spur Q4 sales especially after Elon said there wouldn't be any capital raises in Q4 while he expected to hit Q4 numbers. You generally can't do that without some big news.

Just wanted to color this news with that. I'm still very excited!

shasheene 3 days ago 4 replies      
The Economist recently did a good article on the financing of Elon Musk's companies that flew under the radar of Hacker News that probably warranted further discussion [1] [2]. (Though the author of that piece completely misses the relative importance of each company to Musk, suggesting "he could try to sell [...] SpaceX, through gritted teeth, to a defence firm")

It's unfortunate there's a bit of a reality distortion field around discussion Elon Musk's companies sometimes. Maybe because everyone wants his companies to succeed...

[1] http://www.economist.com/news/business/21709061-entrepreneur...

[2] http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2016/10/ec...

RivieraKid 3 days ago 1 reply      
Related, at the beginning of Q3 Elon Musk sent email to employees urging to cut costs:

> I thought it was important to write you a note directly to let you know how critical this quarter is, The third quarter will be our last chance to show investors that Tesla can be at least slightly positive cash flow and profitable before the Model 3 reaches full production.

simonsarris 3 days ago 1 reply      
Direct link to the letter: http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ABEA-4CW8X0/310041501...

> Total Q3 GAAP revenue was $2.30 billion, up 145% from Q3 2015, while total Q3 gross margin was 27.7%, compared to 21.6% in Q2. Total automotive revenue was $2.15 billion on a GAAP basis, up 152% from Q3 2015. Our final Q3 delivery count was 24,821,over 300 more than the estimated delivery count we shared on October 2nd. Deliveries increased 114% from the third quarter of 2015, and was comprised of 16,047 Model S and 8,774 Model X vehicles. In addition, 5,065 vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of the quarter. These vehicles will be delivered in Q4.

antimatter 3 days ago 2 replies      
One thing to note, I have a few friends who work at Tesla service centers. They cut A LOT of corners when it comes to service to show profits this quarter. For example, for the location that one of my friends works at (which happens to be one of the busiest locations in Southern California), they sold almost every single loaner vehicle as a used car.
rascalpenguin 3 days ago 2 replies      
I imagine this is because the majority of revenue is spent on growing the buisness, rather than going into profit (As profit = revenue - expenses). As Tesla still has a lot more space to grow. Same method Amazon did until recently for years.
toomuchtodo 3 days ago 1 reply      
SCTY acquisition is locked up.

EDIT: Elon just said on the investor call "Our current plan requires no capital raise whatsoever for the Model 3 production. Solar City will be neutral to cash contributor in Q4.

generj 3 days ago 0 replies      
Most impressive here is a 70% increase in production.

Note that this occurred while Model 3 production is still starting.

11thEarlOfMar 3 days ago 2 replies      
The biggest news in this release is gross margin.

Gross Margin Jumped from 26.7% in Q2 to 33.2% in Q3.

For reference, MRQ,

GM gross margin: 13.9%

Toyota: 23.6%

VW: 19.9%

Granted, those are not luxury auto makers, but Tesla is more profitable on a gross margin basis. That margin fuels everything from cash flow to R&D spending. 33% for an automaker is huge.

dwills 3 days ago 0 replies      
Another take on the Tesla financial story:


forgetsusername 3 days ago 5 replies      
Cashed in a large amount of ZEV credits, for a one-time revenue bump of $140MM. Excluding that, GAAP loss was $117MM. Big increase in accounts payable. But, all things considered, that's not bad.
phrygian 3 days ago 4 replies      
Can someone explain what this[0] means? It would seem that when you buy the car, you don't own it after all.

[0] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tesla-self-driving-car-n...

erikb 3 days ago 1 reply      
It may even be a bad things if they have profits considering the kind of revolution they are attempting on the car industry. I hope though, that it means things went better for them than expected.
justinzollars 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great news! But not a surprise considering the great people who work there.
yladiz 3 days ago 4 replies      
I'm impressed and skeptical of the substantial increase in production. A 70% increase in production in one year would likely require substantial changes in the production stages. Hopefully Tesla didn't cut any corners to hit this production number; I'm hopeful that they just scaled back their production initially and now show their "full potential", or added a lot of new machinery in their production line(s). Maybe they will reach the 500,000 target.
tschellenbach 3 days ago 3 replies      
I've been reading the book about Elon Musk, great read. This is all the more impressive considering all the stories of times they almost went bankrupt.
tn13 2 days ago 1 reply      
Good for Tesla. It now only needs to reduce its dependency on government dole to kill the rest of the auto industry.
matchagaucho 3 days ago 1 reply      
Curious to understand how Model 3 deposits are reported in financials. Deferred revenue?
ryanmarsh 3 days ago 2 replies      
Why would they do that? Why post profits?
mortdeus 3 days ago 0 replies      
Elon Musk works too hard to fail.
albertTJames 3 days ago 2 replies      
"Of 20 analysts covering the company, seven have a "sell" rating on the stock, four rate it "buy" or higher and nine have a "hold", according to Thomson Reuters data."

=== proof that something is very wrong with a world defined by speculators

MacBook Pro apple.com
852 points by rl3  2 days ago   1695 comments top 275
npgatech 2 days ago 27 replies      
This event was by far the most disappointing Mac event in the history. A lot of the time was wasted in:

- Mildly funny jokes and comparison with 90's technology.

- 90% of the talk was about the touch bar.

- Awful demos of Photoshop & some cringy DJ.

I was hoping we would see:

- A new MacBook with all day battery life and touch bar, even thinner design. Ok, I understand that they are trying to consolidate their product line but the category of a web-browsing machine that is 12", super small design and an adequate processor is left without any update.

- A MacBook pro with some real innovation. They could just copy Microsoft with a detachable screen (oh but they would cannibalize iPad market), pen input, touch screen. But, instead we get this touchbar thing which is great but I am just disappointed that it is the only thing they have innovated here.

- Killed Macbook Air.

- No iMac update (!!!).

- No monitor announcement.

Microsoft really hit it out of the park yesterday. Apple's entire presentation felt like they are trying to fill the 1.5 hours of time with bullshit.

Also, Panos Panay sounds like a genuine, authentic, passionate and knowledgeable whereas Jony Ive sounds like an Evangelical designer who feels "fake". I don't know how to explain it.

ynniv 2 days ago 24 replies      
Apple has replaced the MacBook Pro with a faster MacBook Air labeled "Pro". I have no idea how they could think that professionals would use a MacBook Air (no ports, shallow keyboard, no expansion, no innovative features, marginally lighter). A tiny ribbon display is completely useless to me. They removed the escape key. Twenty years of using Macs and I'm not sure what my next laptop is going to be.
blocke 2 days ago 15 replies      
The touch bar examples shown are a usability disaster. You're going to hide UI from the screen and make me keep looking at the keyboard to find functionality?

I stopped looking at the keyboard every 10 seconds when I learned how to touch type.

The presenter spent most of his time looking at the keyboard and not the screen.

This gimmick will disappear when Apple decides a touch screen is needed to complete the slow merge with iOS.

nkw 2 days ago 6 replies      
Wow. I hate to say it, but I thought the products in Microsoft's event yesterday were way more exciting than anything from Apple lately. This plus macOS Sierra seems like a whole lot of "meh". This coming from a guy whose first computer was an Apple IIe, who owned a Mac Cube, and whose daily driver is a trashcan MacPro.
untog 2 days ago 7 replies      
I know USB-C is the future, but it's going to be a long, long, long time before all our devices are using it - particularly external displays. My current Macbook Pro has an HDMI port. I use it every day. I do not want to carry a converter dongle with me everywhere (I did that with my old Air that only had a DisplayPort).

To echo other complaints: this is supposed to be a professional machine. I don't care about it being several mm thinner, especially when it comes at the cost of useful ports and a great keyboard. Give me a device that I can use, day in day out. Don't take away the damn escape key to trial out a new "touch bar" that inputs emojis, and don't bump the price up by this much when you know I'm going to have to go out and buy a host of $20 dongles when I buy the thing.

swang 2 days ago 6 replies      
I have the early 2013 MacBook Pro. It is still pretty fast.

Nothing I saw today makes me happy to upgrade as a developer. Sure it's lighter and thinner and HUUGE trackpad that's a nice to have when I'm traveling. But the TouchBar requires me to look down at my keyboard which slows me down. And they can't even leave the keyboard itself alone with the terrible butterfly implementation coming over from the 12" MacBook. And I am sure all the Mac developers will enjoy developing apps that both have and do not have TouchBar. Just wait 5-7 years for all the non-TouchBar based MacBooks to not be as common.

Then the ports. Apple seems to think that it can force upgrades to technology like they did with (arguably) floppy drives and cd-rom/dvd drives. But USB (non-C) is not a dying standard, neither is an SD-card slot. People still use SD-cards Apple! I don't want to buy dongles all the time. I am shocked they even bothered to include a headphone jack. Where's your courage now Apple?

All of this has been very off-putting as a developer. And where are the iMac and Mac Pro updates?

edit: also they got rid of magsafe. i guess thats a split since their magsafe 2 cables were way too loose.

wkirby 2 days ago 6 replies      
What I wanted:

- 7th generation Intel chips. Skylake (6th generation) is from August 2015.

- A move to Nvidia GPUs

- Retain the magsafe power adapter

- At least one dedicated display-out port, preferably HDMI

- 32GB RAM for the 15 inch base model

- Support for the airpods using their new W1 chip

What I'm mad they included:

- Price increase for low value

- Touch Bar does away with physical keys I use daily (most importantly escape), while providing very little functionality I see using in my daily workflows (auto-complete on a desktop? I type faster than that.)

What they could have surprised me with:

- A full touch screen

- Support for the Apple Pencil on the new larger trackpad

- Any mention of their desktop lineup

lostgame 2 days ago 3 replies      
Unbelievably unimpressive compared to Microsoft's announcement yesterday, and 45 minutes into the keynote I still have no idea what the specs are.

I don't need some stupid touch strip on my Mac, I need a touch screen.

I haven't been this let down by product announcements ever as I have been this year with everything Apple's done.

Now we get all our standard USB ports removed, very little by way of actual hardware improvements, are we even going to get an upgraded Mac Pro that might meet the minimum 4GB gfx card requirement for Oculus, etc?

I've sworn by Apple products for a decade and a half. I'm done.

dchuk 2 days ago 8 replies      
(Posted in another thread, that probably will not make it as high as this)

I think conceptually this is really neat, but it could potentially suffer from one major flaw: I hardly ever look down at my keyboard. A flat, digital screen containing changing buttons does not cater well to touch typists, of which you can reasonably assume most are who use a macbook pro.Touch ID is sweet though.

brentm 2 days ago 4 replies      
I hate to take away from the complaining in here but I actually think it looks pretty nice. I was pleasantly surprised with the interactions they demonstrated with the new ribbon display. I knew they were going to announce it and didn't think I'd care but I will walk away from the video with the feeling that I want one.
dguaraglia 2 days ago 6 replies      
As a heavy Vim user, this might be my last Apple development machine. I can always remap Caps Lock to Esc, but years of muscle memory > a flashy feature I have little use for.

There's nothing I'd pay extra for in this new machine: touchbar is a meh, biometric authentication has been around since ~2005, the hardware specs are finally catching up with what everyone else has been shipping for a couple years, the new keyboard is horrible, Siri is the new ubiquitous feature nobody wants, USB C... meh.

I wonder if 2017 will finally be the year software developers go back to Linux machines? If only the story for mixed DPI displays was solid, I think it might finally be The Year of Desktop Linux :P.

makecheck 2 days ago 4 replies      
When I am at a desk, the lid is closed so both TouchID and touch-anything effectively dont matter, including any display information. In fact, I am worried about applications gradually putting information only on the Touch Bar that cannot be found anywhere else.

Perhaps they could have placed a TouchID button on the SIDE of the laptop (usable when open or closed). And hopefully the ENTIRE Touch Bar display is also available as a global window ON the screen so that it is still able to display/activate things when you are lid-closed connected to an external display.

The real shock though is that a lot of these changes show a lack of usability testing. Like, 10 minutes in the hallway level of testing. How much serious work can actually be accomplished with such tiny touch keys that require you to look down at them, constantly changing and mostly unpredictable? Before ever creating new hardware for this, they should have enhanced macOS to provide an on-screen version of this ever-changing toolbar to encourage more universal support from developers and work out the usability kinks. Instead, now theyre stuck: this thing is in your laptop, with all its flaws.

brian-armstrong 2 days ago 5 replies      
Replacing hardware keys with a touchscreen on a laptop made for power users is a sign that Apple has lost touch with what made the MacBook Pro popular in the first place. I think they could have just upgraded to the newest CPU and put a new battery in and made everyone happy.
overcast 2 days ago 6 replies      
Ugh. I don't know what to do here. I've been waiting for Mac updates for ages, and this is what we get. My 2008 Mac Pro is maxed out on upgrades, and has been on the fritz lately. I can't go forever on an 8+ year old machine. Especially one that is no longer "officially supported" by Apple, and now requires 3rd party patches to install Sierra and its updates.

Microsoft's Surface presentation yesterday was VERY tempting.

davesque 2 days ago 1 reply      
Man...this just feels like such an epic letdown. All the new "killer" features just seem like gimmicks. I could care less if there's a touch strip (that I have to look at to use) on my keyboard. I also don't give a shit if I can scan my fingerprint instead of just typing my password to login. The hardware is also just not cutting edge (the price is though). Such a huge disappointment. It seems pretty clear that Apple just doesn't care about their desktop/laptop business anymore. And all this after months of waiting to purchase a new laptop since Apple delayed their normal product schedule.
simonsarris 2 days ago 2 replies      
Interestingly they removed the pricing from their landing page, this morning the Macbook pro prices (for the old gen) were pretty prominent at the top of the page, above the fold and above any images of the computer.

The 13 inch now starts at $1,499 (but no touch bar at all unless you spend at least $1,799), up from $1,299.

The 15 inch now starts at $2,399, up from $1,999.

If you want to compare the copy, you can see the old version cached here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:z7BWPC9...

justanton 2 days ago 3 replies      
Apple is being run more and more by marketers, rather than by techies.

As a developer, I don't want to see "emojis" on my keyboard, but I do want to be able to plug in any device I need in that exact moment, without looking for a right dongle.

Apple needs to stop sacrificing usability for "looks".

joeguilmette 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I'm not a professional user I don't know what is - I spend a double digit percentage of my life on a laptop (wow that's depressing), running multiple VMs, Terminal, Sketch, Sublime Text, and around 15+ other apps all the time.

I went through two or three MBAs, have a MB, and am excited to be moving to a new 15" MBP. I am not sure if I'll be keeping the MB.

I am pretty sure my main use case for the ESC key is to close out full screen windows, which thankfully is still possible with the Touch Bar. I am a touchtypist - the only time I ever look at the keyboard is to figure out which function key will adjust the volume/brightness/skip track/pause music. I don't use the Mission Control function keys and I seldom adjust key brightness or use the power button.

I have wireless headphones and the only thing I ever plug in to my computer is my phone to charge it, and even then I usually just plug it in to my little travel USB/AC surge protector that the MB charges from. I bought a dongle for the MB and don't mind the negligible amount of space/weight it takes up. I can't wait for the day when everything (Lightning included) is finally replaced by USB-C.

Yea, it cost me nearly $4k out the door. Maybe I could save a couple bucks on another platform, or maybe they could've included newer/faster components. I stopped giving a shit about which model CPU was in my box around the same time I stopped building Windows desktops (hint: I was installing XP on them). I look back fondly on those days but very much enjoy the simplicity of today's computer, at least in terms of hardware.

Long story short: I consider myself a Pro user, am excited about the MBP, and really don't mind any of the growing pains that everyone seems so enraged about. If as many people do jump ship to Msft as are saying it, that's great - they need the users, and Apple needs the competition.

daturkel 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think in a few years, we're going to be looking back at this as a half-assed hack before we were ready for a macbook with a full touch screen. Touch typists (which I'd imagine are an increasing proportion of computer users) don't look at the keyboard. Touch cues (ridges on the F and J keys, placement and size of keys) guide typing and control without the need to look.

Even if you just used the touchbar to allow for context-sensitive buttons, I'd lose the real tactical feedback of a keyboard and need to build new muscle memory for each application.

Worse is when you start putting GUIs on the touch barnow I'm really expected to look down and scroll through a library of photos or find my favorite website on this tiny strip which isn't on my screen? Why?

mickronome 2 days ago 0 replies      
/rant mode partially activated

While I want more RAM and better GPU to be able to connect more and bigger screens, I don't want any gimmicks. If they could get the keyboard to feel crisp longer, or make it cheaper to replace would also be great. But instead they add a bar that will probably make keyboard replacement even more expensive, and then they remove the magsafe which has saved my computer on several occasions, what's up with that ? Stupidly hunting for a mm thinner profile ?

I never really like Jobs, but to me he always appeared to want to build beautiful tools, and while I have not always agreed with the aesthetics and the hows, they were still tools, and I respected both him and Apple for that.

In contrast to that, Apple today appears to think they are selling a innovative fashion statement, or maybe a lifestyle ? Completely foregoing the tools aspect, and now it has reached the MBP line which have been mostly spared until now.

It's a pity.

sakisv 2 days ago 2 replies      
Sometimes I really cannot understand the guys at apple:

- No regular USB ports

- No HDMI port

- No F keys

- No option for more than 16GB RAM

- No mag-safe

- More expensive

Why not bump the specs, allow for more RAM, and just add an extra USB-C to start the adoption slowly?

rayiner 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think the touch bar is gimmicky, but I have to give Apple credit for bucking the trend of hiding UI and making functionality more rather than less visible to users. The trend in the mobile OSs has been to hide more and more functions being hamburger menus (Android), toolbars that only pop up when you tap them (Apple Maps), cryptic flat icons, etc. It's totally undiscoverable. This is the opposite: context-sensitive commands that show up and let the user know what he or she can do.

EDIT: This is how I feel about the "ESC" key thing as an Emacs user: https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/59dp9u/apple_f....

mindo 2 days ago 2 replies      
They should have called it "MacBook Hipster". Call me stupid, but this spring I bought mbp 13" mid-2012 model not because it's the cheapest one they have, but because that's the only one they had with swappable hdd, ram, battery and even with ethernet port that I personally don't care that much about.

I much rather have slightly lower specs but when the day comes and my ram is corrupted or i need ssd replacement I could order one online and get delivered the next day, rather than drive 200km to drop it for repairs, wait god knows how long and drive those damn 200km to pick it up.

Hispter glue sandwiches is not something I'm planing to buy as my next computer, I just really hope Apple will get their sh*t together and release another laptop for old school guys like me...

ChicagoDave 2 days ago 2 replies      
TouchBar. Dead on arrival. This is a cute feature, but kind of embarrassing from an innovation perspective. And given the announcement of the Surface Book update and the new Surface Studio, Apple is inconceivably playing second fiddle to Microsoft on the innovation front.

The leap ahead on ports is premature at best.

I'm sure Apple will hold most of their fan base, but there are going to be quite a few defections me thinks.

vegasje 2 days ago 7 replies      
Seems like my next laptop won't be a MacBook Pro.

Can anyone recommend a good Linux laptop that will offer up to 32gb of RAM and have decent battery life?

verandaguy 2 days ago 6 replies      
I'm surprised (and a bit disappointed) by the lack of HDMI and DisplayPort/Thunderbolt ports.

I'm even more surprised by the lack of a physical escape key. I'm concerned that it could break some applications (Vim, Emacs, all kinds of command-line stuff), even if <Esc> isn't as big a deal with Apple's non-developer user base.

... At least they kept the 3.5mm jack.

felixrieseberg 2 days ago 1 reply      
I cannot understand how a company like Apple, known and proven to build exceptional hardware, won't let me use my iPhone headset with the new MacBook.
gniquil 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't understand why there's so much backlash against the "bar". Personally I'm actually really excited. I'm a programmer. I can imagine all sorts of plugins and addons one can make for one's favorite editor. Imagine writing a plugin for vim or sublime text to inc/dec font size, mapping short cut functionalities to "named" buttons rather than F9. Don't like it contextually changing on you? Just program it to stay static. Some here complain that there's no escape key. But what prevents you from putting it there (better yet, maybe we could make it twice the width so you won't accidentally hit F1?).

In fact, extrapolating further, perhaps in 10 years, the entire keyboard (and touchpad) will eventually become one giant touch screen, with location specific haptic feedback. By then, the younger generation of programmers who grew up in the age of touch screen phones and ipads will not miss the real keyboards (like we don't miss the blackberries). And that one giant touchscreen will be infinitely more customizable.

j79 2 days ago 0 replies      
Given the opening of the Keynote and the focus around accessibility, I'm really curious how Touch Bar will work for non-sighted users. Will it require running your finger over the controls while VoiceOver relays the context of the button? Or, will the Touch Bar require "focusing" where a user swipes through the buttons, similar to iOS?

Personally, I don't need application aware function keys (sure, emojis are cool in messages...) and would love an option for the 15" MBP to have physical keys, similar to the 13" option...

ookblah 2 days ago 0 replies      
honestly, pretty let down by the event. apple touchbar is ... i cant' even. it's like trying to force features that were on my phone on to the laptop. and this thing is supposed to be geared toward professionals.

1) what if i'm docked to an external monitor + keyboard? becomes completely useless.

2) going forward and back in safari? "quick type" autosuggestions when typing? really is that the innovation? i'm pretty sure i can type and/or correct myself faster than it takes to look down and touch an autocorrected version of what word i just typed. why not build that ui into you know.. the on screen software. this is just a terrible ui decision that was brought over from a phone... which makes 100% sense there given the small real estate.

anybody who uses pro apps already knows all the primary shortcuts or remaps them so they are easy to access by feel. now you require me to stare at my keyboard and manage two touch surfaces that aren't close to each other.

3) and thanks for removing my esc key and replacing it with a one that changes context every time i switch apps (or even within an app). i'm sure that goes well with all the developers out there.

that pretty much leaves being able to... quickly select emojis in messages and touch id (which admittedly was very cool). seriously debating this (given the bumped specs) or a previous gen macbook pro or new macbook. if i could move out of apple ecosystem i'm seriously considering it this time around.

ilyanep 2 days ago 1 reply      
Still can't go above 16GB RAM. As someone who is frequently running a lot of servers on my development machine (but still values portability), this is pretty disappointing.
matt4077 2 days ago 3 replies      
HN is full of people who touch-type F9, I know. But I'm pretty excited about the toolbar. In anything but my primary editor, it will dramatically increase my ability to get by keyboard-only. For 99% of people, the increased discoverability will dramatically increase their ability to use shortcuts.

And even the other 1% don't spend all their time within a set of applications small enough to memorize all shortcuts.

avitzurel 2 days ago 6 replies      
I can't get over the ESC key.

I need to experience it in order to make a final decision but even though it's "there" the position looks awkward.

kennell 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't get it.

The entire presentation was absolutely cringeworthy. The touch bar is a stupid gimmick being sold for a $300 price bump. Any serious developer, video editor or audio engineer knows all his shortcuts already and simply does not want to look down on his keyboard. The entire idea is flawed to begin with.

I really would not care if they put this on their toy-macs (the 12" "Macbook" or the "Air). Go ahead. But for the love of god, just leave one machine for people that use their Macs as a serious, professional everyday work tool

ROFISH 2 days ago 5 replies      
16GB RAM max, DP1.2 (so no 5k display support), worthless Touch Bar when I use my current MBP dual monitor with the lid closed. Pass.

Sadly I really wanted something better since I'm on an old 2012 MBP that badly needs an upgrade but I'm not dropping $1500+ for something that doesn't support 32GB and 5k displays.

arihant 2 days ago 1 reply      
This does not seem like a major announcement to me. They added a bar and touch ID. But they added force touch with taptic engine last year and it took 3 minutes to introduce.

Between this and Surface with Bash built in, it's the first time since Windows 98 that I can see myself using a Windows computer.

This machine is not pro, as in not for professionals. No self-respecting Musician, Artist, Writer, Programmer, Photographer, Sportsman, etc. can make their living on this. This is what you take to a coffee shop to check e-mail. Anything else requires a dongle. It doesn't "just work" if you need to plug in a series of cables first. That's how Windows laptops were handled. They needed drivers for anything meaningful, this needs dongles.

I need a laptop to create. I don't need a laptop that competes with a notepad on thickness and usefulness. It was all Steve Jobs. All of it.

When is 4mm thicker laptop less elegant than thinner laptop with 5 dongles? Only on paper.

gchokov 2 days ago 0 replies      
I for one like what I see.

I currently have 2012 rMBP and love the form factor, love the material. Why would I want something different from what I really like already? I am sure the display will be a lot better, but here, nobody talks about it.

I totally agree that functional keys take too much time and there are some I never ever use. Can't wait to jump on the new MacBook. I'll be more than happy if it lasts me nearly 5 years again.

I don't understand all the negativity recently here on HN. Do you try to look cool guys? Go get MSFT book and leave the rest of us to use what we already love, but better one.

elnygren 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why is everyone so disappointed? This is still by far the best laptop out there - let's go through the painpoints:

- no 32gb RAM. Name one laptop (a laptop, not a battleship) that has 32gb. Dell and Lenovo have a couple monstrosities with trackpads from the 90s with that amount of RAM.

- no ESC key. C'mon, obviously the toolbar has it when running macvim or iTerm (or some other terminal) with vim.

- no Intel something, no Nvidia this and that. So? With regards to GPU and CPU this is probably the best laptop in the market that is this thin and light.

- 10h battery life. MBP already has the biggest battery that is allowed in airplanes. Nobody can do better with same amount of computing power.

- USB-C. In a way this is valid, however, the world is better off with less connectors (it's Apple, everyone's gonna follow suit). For MagSafe, look at something like ZapTip.

To people saying they are abandoning Apple after a decade of use: why?

- still the best keyboard and trackpad BY FAR in the market

- still the best build quality, design and dimensions in the market

- excellent display

- excellent software

- an actual laptop that you want to carry around instead of a Dell/Lenovo plastic monster battleship

I think other people already did the comparison against Microsoft. Surface Books are much more expensive ($/performance) with only the touch screen going for them.

csomar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of negative reviews here. My first mac was a 15" rMBP-2014. I have really fallen in love with the machine and OSX.

Here is what I think Apple got right (from a personal perspective):

1- Lighter and thiner. When I'm out, I care only about how light it is; and how thin it is. I have a bluetooth mouse, and I don't really need an HDMI and SD card slot.

2- I can see myself using the TouchBar for Chrome and Mail. I usually browse/mail when I'm out.

3- The cheapest version has a good Graphic Card that supports 4 HD screens. My current retina does support only two HD screens and I have been thinking of building a 3or4 screen setup.

4- Larger Trackpad. I can see myself using this too.

Here is where I got disappointed:

1- Limited CPU upgrade. Would have loved if we got a real killer CPU here (xeon mobile or something like that)

2- Possibility of a 32GB RAM Upgrade.

3- Higher resolution screen, but this is low on my list as the current one is fairly high-res.

4- Better front-camera. 720p? Come on, it's 2017. At least a 5MP camera. It'd not add much to the cost and make my skype calls less miserable.

5- nano-SIM Slot for 4G internet. Seriously, I tether most of the time. This function has been in my 10" LG 6 years ago.

bit_logic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Something I wish Apple would do:

Apple Executive: Engineering team, make the new MacBook Pro 20% lighter and thinner!

Apple Engineering: OK!

(Many months later)

Apple Engineering: We're done! We had to make massive improvements in energy efficiency, thermal issues, etc. but we did it.

Apple Executive: Now give all that 20% weight/width back to the battery. Pro users probably care more about battery life than weight/width at this point which are more than good enough.

duaneb 2 days ago 3 replies      
They aren't buttons, it's a touch screen. Meaning: fuck blind people and touch typists.
huac 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm very sad that the MagSafe connectors will be gone. It's one of my favorite parts of the Mac ecosystem, and a huge advantage.
satysin 2 days ago 1 reply      
The touch bar could do with being a little taller. Considering there is space above it it is a shame they couldn't make it 3-4mm bigger.

I find it amusing Apple makes such a big deal of adding a fingerprint reader to a laptop, I have had that for about a decade on all my Windows machines. Hardly anything special these days.

So it is thinner, yay!(?), but it was pretty damn thin anyway, would have been nice to have a 20 hour battery (estimating on size differences if same battery life as previous).

God I hope they improved the butterfly switches from v1. Those things were like using a Blackberry keyboard on a laptop. Disgusting IMHO.

Does anyone know if their "wide" colour display beats the OLED in the new Lenovo?

Edit: Also 4 USB-C, how long until they kill the Lightning port on the iPhone/iPad do you think? Seems idiotic to have a phone and tablet with one connector and a laptop (and desktops I assume in the future) with a totally different port. They should have switched to USB-C on the iPhone 7 when they killed off the 3.5mm jack IMHO.

trurl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Still no 32GB option. I guess Pros just don't need that kind of memory?
dasmoth 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does anyone else get the feeling that Apple are planning to kill desktops entirely? I went into this kind-of interested in the touch bar but thinking "how will they add it to external keyboards." Now, I don't think they ever will. The "pro workstation" sequence they showed during the live event is what they're aiming at: set your desk up so that the laptop us the keyboard and just add monitors (and perhaps external storage).

And you know, perhaps they're right. But may take me a while to accept.

binthere 2 days ago 2 replies      
This trend of killing hardware buttons needs to stop. It's very inconvenient. The sense of touch is important for me. It's one of the annoying things I don't like about many Android devices and it seems that Apple is slowly transitioning to this as well.
rl3 2 days ago 2 replies      
"6th-generation Intel processor"

So in other words it's using Skylake, not Kaby Lake (7th-generation).

No mention of display resolution either, which leads me to believe the 15" model won't feature a 4K display. It's using an unspecified AMD Polaris GPU.

There's also a 13" MBP sans Touch Bar, featuring normal function keys.

jmspring 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dear Tim Cook,

As the owner of a 16gig, 13" MBP, i7 processor, MacBook Pro, explain to me why I upgrade?

Utili-bar is stupid.

Old processor, no chance for more memory, OS going to shit by trying to be as constrained as iOS.

Upgrade why?

sccxy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Pro device with emojis.

Did you hear about emojis? I guess they mentioned it five times in the keynote.

Matachines 2 days ago 2 replies      
I was either happy/neutral about everything but the price... not sure what to do now. I'm just too used to macOS and don't feel like making the switch to Windows or Linux.
40acres 2 days ago 2 replies      
I was very intruged by the Dell XPS 13/15, especially since they come in a developer edition which runs Ubuntu. I've been holding off on a purchase because I wanted to see what Apple would come up with, Dell looks pretty strong today.
sandGorgon 2 days ago 3 replies      
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports that support USB-C. Any one of the four ports can be a charging port.


Hopefully, this will disrupt the rest of the industry. The XPS 13 is a brilliant machine (IMHO better than the Mac) but why did they not use the USB-C for charging is beyond me.

gizmo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why would any professional want to look at their keyboard to do anything? This is just a reinvention of the F-keys row from the 80s, but worse:


inputcoffee 2 days ago 4 replies      
Everyone seems disappointed but I think the reason is this:

There isn't that much to innovate on the laptop.

If you want real innovation, you need new form factors: voice recognition, VR, intelligent devices and so on.

The laptop is excellent at what it does and the only thing you can really do is make it faster and lighter.

stemuk 2 days ago 1 reply      
How come all that complaining and rambling about the missing upgrades for the iMac or Mac mini? I really think that Apple did a great job at evolutionally improving the MacBook Pro under the hood, and the TouchBar seems to be a really usefull addition for creative professionals.

Quite a fraction of the HN community really seems to enjoy complaining about what possibly could have been, rather than just beeing happy about the stuff Apple delivered today. And if you just can't stand the new MacBooks? Who cares! There are tons of other manufacturers to choose from and a different machine may just fit your taste perfectly.

agentgt 2 days ago 1 reply      
"We took that track pad that your palms occasional rub against and accidentally move your cursor.... yeah we took that and made it extra big so your wrists will now participate in cursor screw ups"... think different.
Sgt_Apone 2 days ago 2 replies      
4 USB-C ports. Kind of a bummer that I have to get a dongle to charge my iPhone SE with this thing.
tedmiston 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a lot of dislike for the new machines in this thread. It's a good time to remember that previous gen machines are often found in the Refurbished [1] and Clearance [2] sections of the Apple site in the months following a launch. Clearance is empty right now, but there are plenty of rMBP in refurbished.

[1]: http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

[2]: http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/clearance...

pbhowmic 2 days ago 3 replies      
My single biggest fear was that they would end the MagSafe and that has come to pass. 3 kids, 3 cats, 2 dogs, the MagSafe has saved my existing MacBook Pro so many times.
ucha 2 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting fact: the 13" macbook without the touch bar has a 10% larger battery; however they don't describe it as having a 10% better battery life: they're both rated at 10 hours.
alva 2 days ago 1 reply      
$1200 upgrade cost for 2TB option.16GB RAM maximum.

edit: Jeez. For 15" with 1TB UK buyers will be paying 3,059.00

SnowingXIV 10 hours ago 0 replies      
With all this confusion, has anyone figured out the best scenario for 1 cable to dock for work/home? Are there any good ones made yet? Lot of the third party docks have different watts and other issues. Plus, with TB3/USB-C (getting that right is a headache) what are people doing? Just have a million adapters? I was hoping this would make life more portable not less. I currently have a MBP 13-inch 2011 that I've upgraded RAM to 16GB and a SSD. Was waiting for this announcement for a long time and feeling kinda eh.

Thinking ethernet, charge iPhone, external HD, and connect to external monitor HDMI/DisplayPort?

dtnewman 2 days ago 0 replies      
The loss of the escape key is something I find annoying, even if it can be remapped[1] to caps lock (which i never use).

[1] https://9to5mac.com/2016/10/25/remap-escape-key-action-macbo...

te_platt 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been looking forward to this for while now but my first reaction is that I don't think I need a new laptop. And I really wanted a new laptop.

It looks nice, the last model looks nice too. The touch bar looks like it could be nice, 95% of my time I use an external keyboard. The new display looks really nice, 95% of my time I use two large external monitors.The USB-C ports will in the long run be more convenient, right now I'm looking at > $100 in adapters.

I'll check them out at the store but I may just look for a good price on the last model.

Osmium 2 days ago 2 replies      
Would be curious to know if they tested the Touch Bar below the keyboard instead of above it.

I wonder if, as the concept further evolves, the bar might become larger or migrate locations. The comparisons they made to the original PowerBook were interesting, in that it really showed how constant incremental changes really add up in the long term.

Edit: Another possibility is to integrate an OLED display into the trackpad too, so then you have haptics as well, and could interact with both mouse and touch bar with one hand.

[Reposted my comment from the other thread.]

rl3 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's a 13" MBP model that lacks Touch Bar, featuring normal function keys.

Apple is using last year's Skylake processors (6th-generation), not Kaby Lake (7th-generation), even though some OEMs are starting to ship hardware with Kaby Lake right now.

>Retina display

>15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 native resolution at 220 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors

No 4K display on the 15" models.

The GPU configurations are as follows based on the order page:

Intel Iris Graphics 540 (13" sans Touch Bar)

Intel Iris Graphics 550 (13" with Touch Bar)

Radeon Pro 450 with 2GB memory (15")

Radeon Pro 455 with 2GB memory (15" top-end)

Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory (both 15" models, optional)

As a WebGL developer, I'm really happy to see the Intel HD Graphics 4600 chipset die. It's basically been the performance target for consumer-oriented web applications for years now. Unfortunately, that target will still linger until older models finally reach obsolescence.

transfire 2 days ago 0 replies      
More like "MacBook Blow".

I mean really. They are trying to innovate but this thing still has a giant Caps Lock key, yet no Esc key? And who wants to use those tiny up and down arrows? I think the touch bar is a fine idea, it is actually way over due, but why make is so thin? And honestly I hate touch pads, force or no force. How about Leap Motion instead -- that would be innovative.

And then there's the price. I guess people in San Fran can afford it. But it's certainly not a computer for the rest of us.

EdSharkey 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apple removed a physical Esc key - clearly a productivity superstar, but they DIDN'T remove that IBM-wannabe boat anchor Fn key?! The touch bar is all dynamic and touch-screeny, why the heck would you even need a PHYSICAL Fn key?? Just make Ctrl nice and fat like it used to be and dump Fn!

I'd have less of a problem with Fn if Apple put it to the right of Ctrl like Dell does/did. But noooooo, they had to copy those usability whizkids at IBM.

optionalparens 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looking at the various missing keys and the touch strip, I couldn't help but laugh and cry. Less is more, right? I think we all know this is aimed at casual users, but it's still fun to poke at it.

The first thing that came to mind is any time now that I walk into a coffee shop, if I see someone passing themselves off as a programmer on a new Macbook, I'll know they are just screwing around or otherwise extremely angry (and should not approach). I guess carrying around your own keyboard is going to be more of a thing for people who like to work outside the home/office. As an Emacs user and someone who spent at least some time in Vim and Vi over the years, wow, I can't imagine the inner rage of some people I know if they tried to use this.

The other thing I thought of is hasn't this quite often been a problem for other people who tried similar approaches? For example, we tried the UI with not looking at the main screen with things like the WiiU, did we not? Obviously gaming is different than productivity, but still, the screen is the primary focus. Could we also not just throw dynamic UI like this on in other ways?

A few I've seen/heard of or could be a future tech:

* Remapping an icon or otherwise minimal custom glyphs/text per key.

* Remote style. Ex: Second display like they had with Vista or other things, but via iPhone or other devices - put it next to you, in front, whatever, boom - extra contextual touch screen. Apple even does this for many apps like Logic Pro X.

* Perfecting tactile response better and using a full dynamic keyboard like on some laptops out there right now (but with more mechanical response). Obviously easier said than done.

The problem with all this is I wonder who is looking down so much or wanting to look down. If you have time to look down, is it really such a problem then to use the OS UI to get the same thing done?

Probably the only time most people I know that can actually type decently tend to look down at a keyboard is to orient themselves again in some way. I know sometimes when I switch languages/locales on my machine to type in some other languages, it takes me a second depending on the language. But this tech doesn't help at all with that except giving me a button to flip, that is already a keyboard chord anyway.

hartator 2 days ago 4 replies      
I think it's also interesting to note that for the first time Apple is lagging behind in term of CPU generation when introducing redesigned MacBooks.

The new MacBook Pro are said to be using 6th generation of Intel CPU (Skylake) when you have already on the market the 7th generation on Intel CPU (Kaby Lake). You are even competitive laptops using them already: http://www.gsmarena.com/new_dell_xps_13_laptop_comes_in_rose...

As a web developer, I think something like this laptop with Windows 10 is becoming more and more interesting. With Ubuntu native integration in Windows, you can even run the Ubuntu versions of the full stack including Node.js, Mongodb and Rails. 100% matching your deployment environment.

benologist 2 days ago 2 replies      
TBH the touch bar seems like a half-arsed response to everyone else getting touch screens. Swiping photos, swiping timelines ... would be more natural on your actual screen, and almost as natural just using the trackpad or mouse.
brandon272 2 days ago 1 reply      
The most exciting and practical product of the announcement was squeezed in at the end, the oddly named MacBook Pro replacement for the Macbook Air. And when I say exciting I am speaking relatively.

There was no mention of battery life, which is hugely important to me as a notebook user and which I guess I will have to find out from the Apple website once it refreshes.

I just found the whole thing to be kind of weird and underwhelming. Maybe the TouchBar is mind blowing in person. We'll see.

Luftschiff 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can anyone here give me Buying Advice?

Mine just died and I was really looking forward to this event because I have wanted to switch to Mac for a while now (I really don't like the "new" Windows interface and I've only had trouble with my previous Windows Laptops) but I don't see a reason to pay what would amount to about 2 months pay for one of the just announced MBp.

I want to be able to do all kinds of hardware intensive things (photo and video editing, data science/statistics, maybe software development) because I don't know what exactly I will need my laptop for yet and want it to last for at least 4-5 years. I'd also love my machine to be designed with some care, I just can't stand the look of the Thinkpad series.

Any ideas?

valine 2 days ago 1 reply      
Being able to charge from any of the four ports is legitimately cool. I also will be happy not buying an $80 power brick every time my cable frays. The touch bar will provide some significant user experience and workflow improvements. Overall I'd say it's a solid upgrade.
bnchrch 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think there's one fact that a lot of people overlooked here.

The new touchbar is optional.

The new MBP comes in two models and one still has your typical function row. I do agree that the announcement was disappointing, leaving me questioning if I'd get a new macbook anytime soon. I would have liked some more ram but its not work flow changing for those of us who are already accustomed to mac laptops.

jmspring 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apple has failed at cloud. They have fired their car group. Software-wise, they want MacOS to be as restrictive (I mean featureful) as iOS. Underwhelming hardware updates -- I work for Microsoft and was waiting on upgrading to a new MBP...

I'm an apple household...

Apple 2016 is Nokia 2007.

No innovation, no inspiration.

A strong rival could bury them -- though it will take $$. I'm not seeing how Apple buys them self out of this hole.

Wonnk13 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm no longer the target audience of Apple. I still own an iPhone, but their notebook line doesn't appeal to me at all. I'm still using my aluminum macbook from '08 and my next one will probably be a chromebook running Fedora.
heyiamlukas 2 days ago 1 reply      
Macbook Pro.

The Pro stands for Emoji.

dvcrn 2 days ago 0 replies      
This event confused me. I had a bunch of emotions from happiness to utter confusion.

I love gimmicks and thought the TouchBar was cool. Then I thought about it how I would usually use it, and the answer was "close to never because I touchtype". Then I realized that the ESC key that I use for so many things blindly is now more awkward to reach. Then I realized that the TouchBar doesn't have haptic feedback which makes precision work more difficult. Then I realized the coming version might actually have haptic feedback and force touch.

Then I realized that the MBP is still limited to 16GB RAM max. If I buy this machine I want to use it for 6 years to come. 6 years with 16GB RAM doesn't seem realistic.

I am not a negative person and absolutely love my Mac. I love the apps that I own and I can't wait to get my hands on the new Final Cut Pro. But I don't know if I want to buy another Mac. Remember when everyone told you the 15" MacBook is effectively a desktop replacement? That's what I want. A desktop replacement for work that I can also put in my pocket and carry somewhere else.

I absolutely don't mind buying 2 Macs. One portable one (12") and one semi/non-portable one for the heavy lifting. But right now that doesn't seem to be the option.

For example: The new FCPX is amazing! But it requires a lot of specs to deal with the ever increasing resolution. It's highly possible that phones can soon record 6k footage in <6 years that need to get edited somewhere.

mcintyre1994 2 days ago 0 replies      
UK prices are absolutely batshit crazy, I know, Brexit, but oh my God. Middle range MBP 13" has gone from 1100ish to 1749. Bottom priced one used to have 128gb SSD and now has 256GB, but they've crippled it by only giving it 2 TB3 ports where the others have 4.. and it's still 1449.
asimpletune 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's plain to see from reading the comments on here that Apple's graded on a curve, and they've gotten so good at what they do now that people are completely out of touch with reality. Bearing that in mind I think Touch Bar is amazing. Laptops still occupy a very important computing space - having a dedicated physical keyboard -, but this also makes it really hard to make them better. Which is why I was all the more impressed to see how how delicately it augments that laptop-experience I mentioned in such a subtle and nuanced way, yet decidedly introducing a new, patient dimension of interactivity. No, this isn't splashy or in your face "innovation", that would be too easy, but for those of us who have the imagination and can reserve judgement for a moment, this is going to dramatically improve the computing experience. And it's not about this being a "pro" product, hopefully Touch Bar will make it to their whole lineup down the road, it's about them being focused and disciplined in introducing something that people will actually find long term value in.
slg 2 days ago 1 reply      
I find the back to back introduction of the Surface Dial and the Touch Bar to be interesting. These two input devices are going to rely on developer commitments for any real level of success, but why should developers spend time on them when they will only be available on a relatively small percentage of devices? If these were web browsers we would all be complaining about standards, but there seems to be little blow back because they are OS level devices. Meanwhile this would seem to be a big headache for developers of cross platform software.
nodesocket 2 days ago 1 reply      
The base model of the 13" with touch bar price increases from the current $1399 to $1799. That certainly surprised me and is substantial.

Also, why would anybody buy an air now? It is worse in every possible category.

bpesquet 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do you remember the last time you weren't totally or at least partially disappointed at the end of an Apple event?

Me neither.

Maybe we expect too much. Maybe Apple has consistently failed to deliver for a long, long time.

hydandata 2 days ago 0 replies      
Funny, the original PowerBook they showed had a mechanical keyboard and a trackball, things that are much more compelling, and definitely more useful to me personally. You know, as a professional programmer I sort of take pride that I am immune to all this "innovation" crap. It is surprisingly easy to do as well. Erik Naggum sums it up pretty well [0]:

"... they don't make poles long enough for me want to touch Microsoft products, and I don't want any mass-marketed game-playing device or Windows appliance _near_ my desk or on my network. this is my _workbench_, dammit, it's not a pretty box to impress people with graphics and sounds. when I work at this system up to 12 hours a day, I'm profoundly uninterested in what user interface a novice user would prefer. ..."

You can just plug in Apple here instead of Microsoft and the truth still reigns. Now obviously Apple is not targeting professional developers with their products, no matter how much you try to pretend that they do, just stop, stop accepting inferior tools for doing stuff that puts food on your table, no other field is as bad at it as ours.

[0] http://www.xach.com/naggum/articles/3065048088243385@naggum....

Randgalt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was totally prepared to buy one of these new MBPs and now I likely won't. Spec wise these are not much better than last year's model. Frankly I don't care too much about the ribbon-bar thing. What I really needed, as a developer, was 32GB. Damn.
pwenzel 2 days ago 1 reply      
My technology prediction for 2017: Adblock for Touch Bar.
Rezo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope the Touch ID reader w/ secure enclave can be used with 3rd party apps like LastPass. Could be more convenient than a Yubikey (that you now cannot connect without an adapter!).

My biggest worry is the new regular MacBook-style keyboard (which is complete rubbish), even if they claim it's improved. That's definitely something you'll want to try in person if you have a current MacBook Pro, at these prices.

toor2 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is just another run of the mill update to me. I'm a developer and sys admin in research computing and to me, everything they removed I never used anyways.F-keys? Practically never use them, I much prefer keyboard shortcuts that allow me to stay closer to home row. Lack of ports? I never use them on my MacBook anyways so I don't really careLack of power? All my heavy computing is done on remote compute clusters

Not to say that my needs are homogenous or anything. I guess my point is, from my perspective, this update isn't some catistrophic failure on apple's part, and it actually fits my needs as a professional quite well. That being said, I will definitely not buy the new MBP. My late 2011 MBP still runs flawlessly and does everything I need on the go. All I'd really want out of a new laptop is for it to be as small and light as possible. For me, the point of a laptop is to be portable, not some do-it-all machine that can hold all of Wikipedia in RAM at once

overgard 2 days ago 0 replies      
So as a programmer, this stupid touch bar thing is a huge downgrade. I use the function keys all the time in my development tools. Now I'm supposed to use some stupid tiny touchscreen with no tactile feedback? And I have to look down at it every time I want to tap something?

This thing solves approximately zero problems I had, but creates a bunch more.

ChuckMcM 2 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting, I really like the touch bar (see my comments about wanting to create something similar, if somewhat larger, in other responses) but the overall product leaves me flat. I get thinness in general but when is it thin enough? I certainly felt "if they just made it thinner" wasn't really something that would inspire me to upgrade. Now a cellular modem built in? Maybe. Doubling the battery life? Sure that would be pretty awesome. A clever way to turn it into much expanded "desktop" kind of experience? Sure that would have some interest (Macbooks have sucked at "docking" for a long time).

I think it looks great, and the design touches are top notch, but it doesn't seem to be an improved product than what it is replacing. I miss Steve Jobs keen insights into the way I used things or imagined I might use them. I always felt he was speaking to the issue of "what every you are trying to do, using this tool will make it easier/faster/more intuitive Etc." what I got from this Macbook event was "look how beautiful it is."

pier25 2 days ago 1 reply      
- 6th gen processors

- gimmigck touch bar

- no USB-A ports

- no SD card reader

- no magsafe

- super expensive for what you get

ftrflyr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is Apple completely out of touch with reality? The Mac Book Pro starts with 256GB? Same processor as my current 13in MBP? Disappointed.
everly 2 days ago 1 reply      
Less than two weeks ago I bought a 13-inch retina MBP with a 3.1GHZ i7 and 16GB RAM for $1,799 [0].

I was expecting that the update would make me wish I'd have waited but nope. Would buy the same one I currently have again, if given the option.

[0] http://i.imgur.com/IT5LWJy.png

plusepsilon 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel like a touch screen on the trackpad would've made more sense. Since it's so large there's room to be creative with on-screen shortcuts, dragging sliders, choosing an emoji :), etc. You can still keep all the keyboard shortcuts you need and not need to look at 3 things at once (screen, keyboard/trackpad, touch bar).
maxxxxx 2 days ago 0 replies      
I switched from Windows to Mac two years ago and I am really happy with my MBP 13". But this new announcement is pretty underwhelming. 16GB max RAM, more expensive, no touch screen, nothing new and interesting, but a need for even more adapter cables. But it's really thin!

I am not sure what I'll do when my current Macbook breaks down.

codeinstyle 2 days ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one disappointed by the butterfly keyboards on the new Macbook Pros?

I've been a Mac user for roughly about ten years now, but I think it's time to switch back to Windows.

shogun21 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apple is fully supporting USB-C on their MacBook line. I don't know why they didn't just go all the way with unifying that across the iPhone 7.
orkaa 2 days ago 0 replies      
My friend found a receipt for the macbook air he ordered in 2012.


Isn't this just a tad sad? :)

godmodus 2 days ago 1 reply      
so it's more a toy than a work computer. They boosted the "entertainment" factor - nothing else really.

Lenovo ruinning the thinkpad, Apple turning pros into toys. it's been a harsh few years. - i think there's slowly a good hole to fill in terms of proper workstation laptops that are modular and robust.

are people still hanging on to their 2012 pros? last i checked they still are.

xxxmaster 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am not sure if I have to pay so much extra money for fancy bels and whistles that do not help me as a programmer. I was really hoping for performance boost rather than fancy touch screen that makes me watch the keyboard instead of touch typing.

What I saw from the presentation made my actually go back home and check what Windows announced yesterday, since I was quite disappointed (I actually found the presentation of the surface book more close to what I was hoping the next macbook pro should be).

I believe the only thing that continues to save Apple for consumers like most of the ppl around here is that it is Unix based.

Philipp__ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh God, I miss Steve so much. I remember the time when Apple conference was a real event, everybody would watch, and second it was done we would call and talk for hours about it. Now after 10+ years at Apple camp, I am afraid that this machine I bought 9 months ago might be my last if something doesn't change in next few years. And I fear nothing will change, because Cook is leading this company by profit and numbers, and he is doing great! But that is what killed Apple many, many years ago. And worst of all, I do not see anyone who can fill the shoes Apple had 5-10 years ago.
Roritharr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can anyone just point me to a 32gb ram 13" machine with TB3 Ports?

I would pay handsomely. If Microsoft had included a single Type-C port in the surface book, I would be at least in office bliss.

We could all have just bought Type-C dock monitors and had instant flexdesks with one cablee... But no... I have to wait at least half a year more for that to happen :(

If MS would just sell me a Surface Studio Display that works as a TB3 Dock for both Mac & Win Devices, offering Surface Pen & Dial support Windows only, or heck even Surface only, we would buy so many of them MS would have to become actually good at supply chains...

6stringmerc 2 days ago 1 reply      
So, Apple didn't stick with their, ahem, "courage" and eliminate the headphone jack from the MBP? How curious.
Tistel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I will bet $1.43 that Apple's next version of the iMAC will have a tilt bevel like the Cintiq art monitor and the new MS Studio computer. I think Wacom still claims to have better pressure resolution that the MS touch (no sure if true). I have a small cintiq that I enjoy. I feel a bit bad for Wacom, they seem to have attracted some mighty competitors. Maybe Cintiq/Wacom could try to partner with Apple. Have some sort of Wacom/iMac thing. Microsoft seems to have gotten some good leadership.
guessmyname 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is the Touch ID sensor the new power button?

When I buy it, how am I supposed to power it up?

I feel stupid and old just for asking this question :-(

wkoszek 2 days ago 2 replies      
Makes me wonder how people here feel about the USB-C and basically all gadgets requiring adapters. I like Apple and Mac, but this piece.. Isn't it ugly at the end, that if you want to use an SD card from your camera you must get an adapter, adapter for your iPhone 7 lighting headphones and adapter for your $1k 27" Retina display which isn't 5k, but still pretty freaking good. That's 3 ports, and 1 USB-C port left you'll use for charging.
bdcravens 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sure it's a great machine, but disappointed that it's still capped at 16GB (since there have been lightweight machines like the XPS15 that support 32 for a bit)
msimpson 1 day ago 0 replies      
CNET wrote up a quick comparison table, found here:https://www.cnet.com/news/macbook-pro-vs-surface-book-vs-raz...
mo1ok 2 days ago 1 reply      
Dual core i5? What year is it, 2004?
pc2g4d 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really dig how laptop input devices are in flux right now. There's this trackbar thing, and then there are RGB keyboards like on the Razer Blade Pro. Here would be my ideal input configuration:

* Touchbar with haptic feedback to make the buttons feel more concrete* Physical escape key* RGB keyboard with good travel* Regular-size clickpad

Of course, this configuration doesn't exist anywhere.

The new MacBook Pro is intriguing, but I have concerns:* Max 16GB RAM* Oversized trackpad is going to be a palm-click nightmare* Not sure if I'd like the new keyboard* GPU performance is unclear---they didn't give enough details to assess it

Based on the level of detail in the video on Apple's website, I'm clearly not the target audience of this product. They hardly touched on the actual specs at all, except in a very handwavy, marketeering way.

I had been waiting to see what Apple would offer before replacing my ancient laptop. I just might go with the Dell XPS 15 but have been worried about build quality issues. I'd like something that can play games decently but I'm willing to sacrifice some performance in exchange for reasonable thermals and weight. 5.5 lbs is probably my max weight---I use it on my lap a lot.

finstell 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess, that's the end of it. Hereby, my love relation will die when my early 2015 Macbook Pro dies. There is absolutely no reason I'd update. Nil. What kind of "pro" would care about a touch bar? It's merely a toy. More often than not, these machines are attached to larger screens. It's not even going to be used much even if you wanted to. It's stuck with a 16GB RAM. If I buy it now, then I will be stuck with a 16GB RAM laptop for several years. The only thing I can appreciate is it's lighter now, but then I need to carry all the adaptors for HDMI, SD cards, USB devices. I wonder if it would feel lighter or a headache to travel with the new MacBook pro. To sum up it up, I would not consider to replace my 2015 Macbook Pro to a new one even it's for free. What was needed a lighter, more powerful "pro" computer with more battery juice maybe. What we get instead? How am I supposed to benefit from this? Will being able to select emojis from the touch bar increase my productivity?
audessuscest 2 days ago 2 replies      
wtf Euro prices are 200 higher than dollars price ?!

$1,499.00 -> 1 699,00 for the first model

bane 2 days ago 0 replies      
So it's looking like Microsoft may now be offering highly competitive and innovative hardware, now has a *nix subsystem and prompt you can drop to, better gaming, larger software library and so on, and tons of clone manufacturers who will ape Microsoft and Apple's offerings at a discount, why should my next machine be an Apple one?

Arguing with myself, I'd say hardware quality is probably going to be better from Apple -- but damn that's a hefty Apple tax to pay (and it doesn't stop when you buy the machine).

I can also say, working in a mixed shop, that most people who got Surface Pros in the last couple of years are generally happy with them, but they have all kinds of weird bugs and can be kind of flaky. A few folks with Surface books report similar issues. So there's that.

But really, this was honestly kind of a disappointing showing a day after Microsoft pretty much reinvented creative computing.

davesque 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ironically, I feel that the touch bar just makes it more glaringly obvious that the screen itself is not a touch screen. It invites you to expect that you can interact with your computer via touch. I'm sure there are going to be a lot of people who go right from tapping some icon on the touch bar to mistakenly tapping a close button on the actual display. Seems like a UX failure.
hyperbovine 2 days ago 1 reply      
No more MagSafe? Count me out.
calebgilbert 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really can't believe that 'OLED touchbar' is the lead off for this thing. a) if I hear 'OLED touchbar' one more time, think I'm going to freak/gag, b) if I cared less about anything regarding a mac in my life I'm not sure what it is.

Guess I'll be hanging onto my 2011 Macbook Pro a little longer.

i336_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
This will get buried, but I was curious about the Touch ID bit.

It's at the far right edge of the touch strip.

Zoom in on this: http://images.apple.com/v/macbook-pro/j/images/overview/intr...

mobiuscog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Has nobody in their R&D, user-focus groups, etc., realised the inconvenience of now moving your focus between 3 disparate areas - the screen, the 'touch' bar and the trackpad.

With a touch screen, it's all on one surface. Using a mouse / trackpad it's all on one surface.

Sure, when using the keyboard, you have an additional surface, but then there are two things to offset it - touch-typing and keyboard shortcuts.

If you really want to help 'non-tech' users who can't manage shortcuts or mouse/trackpad.... just give them a standard touch screen.

Oh right. It's Apple.

Even using the phone would probably be more 'convenient' for most users in this category.

ohstopitu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was looking to get a new laptop this year (black friday) and now I have no idea what I'm getting. I've waited years for a Retina Macbook Air and instead, we got this.

Overall, I'm less and less impressed with Apple. I am considering getting a mac mini for iOS development and calling it quits and moving over to the Windows world.

zyngaro 2 days ago 0 replies      
I currently have a mid 2012 Macbook air and I love it. I was thinking about buying a new Mac but now I gonna buy a Thinkpad. Apple strategy has become clear now. They are targeting the - wealthy that do not care much about technology and just want a fancy product - part of the market.
Matthias247 2 days ago 0 replies      
So if I compare the base model (13", no touchbar) with my current-gen 13" pro I see exactly one advantage:

Thunderbolt 3. Seems nice to have for future docking stations and monitors. Don't care if only used as a notebook

And lots of disadvantages:

No Magsafe connector, no HDMI (which most current-gen monitors have), no SD Card, probably a worse keyboard if they adapted the 12" Macbook key style and 300 more expensive.

The touchbar might be a nice gimmick for some casual users which never used the function keys anyway. But I guess for most folks here that use their notebook for programming it will cause more trouble than help. It's not like most IDEs will support for the touchbar anytime soon if at all. And without special support it can be only worse then physical keys. They should have probably offered at least the 15" version without a touchbar too.

jandrewrogers 2 days ago 0 replies      
The most interesting new feature (to me) is that a Secure Enclave processor is built into the laptop. Depending on the details of the implementation, that may have interesting implications for the overall security of the laptop.

I do agree that the rest of the updates are pretty underwhelming.

thetinman 2 days ago 0 replies      
100% agree with this. I'm still using the mid 2012 MBP 15 b/c I've waited for a major upgrade and now this... is probably going to wait 6 months and by the last MBP at close out prices then use that until the next version of the MBP because this one fucks up my work too much.
hartator 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think I am a bit disappointed by the Touch Bar.

I can see it being more annoying than useful. They could have set themselves apart by doing something grandiose like having small oled screens for each key that are changing dynamically according to apps and keyboards. But, I guess this time of true risks are gone.

gejjaxxita 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised by the number of people concerned about the lack of ESC key. I literally never ever use it. Perhaps that's because I've been a Linux user for most of my life and only recently began using Macs. I use emacs as my only editor. What do you use ESC for?
EugeneOZ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ok, Apple, my current MBPr 13' have i5 2.6 GHz and new MBPr 13' have i5 2.0 GHz. Thanks, bye.
ashishb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Has anyone tried this GNU/Linux notebook alternative: https://www.crowdsupply.com/purism/librem-15?
ryanmarsh 2 days ago 0 replies      
The 15" is capped at 16GB RAM???
adrianlmm 2 days ago 0 replies      
The new touch bar looks pretty useless and unconfortable to use, a missed oportunity if you ask me.
ommunist 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awww... Can I get "ESC" key on Touch Bar kind of permanent? Does anybody know that?
rnernento 2 days ago 1 reply      
I see a headphone jack, that seems downright cowardly.
vladimir-y 2 days ago 1 reply      
So now there will be no way to use new Macbooks with Linux/Windows installed due to that weird numeric touch keys row?

I better consider recently updated HP Spectre x360 with newest Kaby Lake CPU and usual fn keys row, plus it's convertible if someone needs that.

Yabood 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why do the Apple presenters keep bringing up the whole "use both hands" point when demoing touch bar. I mean isn't that how keyboards are used? Without looking I might add. I was ready to drop 3K on a new MacBook pro, but now I'm not sure.
chadcmulligan 2 days ago 0 replies      
The touch bar seems interesting, perhaps what I'd like is a separate product that sits beside my mac and gives the touch bar functionality - something the size of a trackpad would be fantastic imho.
crazy__joe 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, where do I plug in my new iPhone 7 headphones?
dorianm 2 days ago 1 reply      
Starts stockpiling 2013 Macbook Pros for my lifetime use

(Seriously the 2013 Macbook Pro 13" feels so perfect)

P.S.: It's weird how they never mentioned programmers in the keynote but I'm sure they are far more programmers than video editors on Macs

chmaynard 19 hours ago 0 replies      
On Hacker News, everyone has an opinion about everything and feels compelled to share it with the world at every opportunity. Sheesh!
gfodor 2 days ago 0 replies      
graphics card on their site for the 15 says its a "AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory", but I think this is the current mbp gfx card. slides said radeon pro 450. maybe placeholder text didn't get updated?
trevorhartman 2 days ago 2 replies      
Any word on max memory? 16GB is standard on 15" but can it be upgraded to 32GB?
orky56 2 days ago 0 replies      
Microsoft Ribbon on the HUD to Apple Touchbar on the Keyboard. I think this was a natural transition since it is more customizable and baked into more applications. The mobile/social UIs have created an opportunity for Apple to make a more modular interface that goes beyond the screen, or at least extends the screen onto the keyboard.

This also allows Apple to avoid making the primary screen a touchscreen since they ergonomics don't make sense with the current form factors. Also, by not making the entire keyboard surface touch it ensures the primary typing experience with haptic feedback stays intact.

calferreira 1 day ago 0 replies      
When most people are discussing Surface Studio on a Mac thread you know that Microsoft really caused impression and Apple is in bad water.
pacomerh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apple is really struggling to innovate and its playing it safe with these updates. It would seem like they fear launching semi-failed products like the MS Surface RT, Google Glass, Amazon Fire Stuff, etc. What would happened if they did?. I guess they would become like any other tech company, not so special anymore. Was Steve Jobs really what this company had on their secret bag of tricks? or why are they going through this bland face. I would hope to be proven wrong.
leroman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I cracked it! the laptop was designed for DJs!Now they can scratch and mix right from the laptop instead of putting it on a stand as if it was a super model..
dman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Is there really a return of the 17 inch?
kibaffo33 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here is the evidence. The free thinking optimistic innovators of the tech community are really skeptical pessimists, doubting and disappointed. Like the rest of us, I suppose.
kriro 1 day ago 0 replies      
So HTC recommends an RX 480 or up as a GPU for the Vive, how does the Radeon Pro 460 (highest available upgrade for the new MBP) compare to that?I read on Reddit that it's about 85% the power of an RX 460...so I guess not enough raw power for VR? Didn't Apple promote the new MBP line as VR-ready or am I misremembering?
wineisfine 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone else here still working on a Macbook Pro 17" ?

Seems like everybody forgot about it, but was a great machine back in the day. And you could even buy a matte version of the screen.

anupshinde 2 days ago 0 replies      
It seems like they built the touch bar first and then asked people to build use cases around it. A touch screen with a software enabled touch bar would have been much better
j45 2 days ago 2 replies      
Boy, I'm a little relieved to have a fully loaded 13" rMBP with 1TB SSD, doesn't look like the new 13" with touchbar can let you go higher than 256 GB storage. If one standard was going to be picked, maybe 512 would have been better for a $3000 computer.

The new Base model rMBP may be the next one for me for that reason for now. Keep finding it worth to always wait until the 2nd generation of a Mac laptop before diving in.

thadk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is Apple including GPUs in all versions of the 15" now because of any future move around software development, augmented reality and VR?

Is there really a GPU-4gb guideline on Oculus or is it mostly to do with the power of the cards. If so, is there any speculation about how these "Radeon Pro" 450/455/460 cards map to the prevailing laptop GPUs?

fivesigma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Re: the wide gamut display

I really really hope there's proper sRGB emulation for those of us who want to make content for the 99.99% of users out there.

Edit: not every app is color managed

kevindong 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Touch Bar seems like it'll go the way of iOS's/Mac's Force Touch: completely unused by users and completely unsupported by developers.
sunstone 2 days ago 0 replies      
The web page itself is a sign of the non-Jobsian direction Apple is taking. I doubt he would stand for all that shifting javascript crap.
aurelienb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulation Apple. You have added the worst feature ever: the touchbar with adaptive keys.I discover this feature with Lenovo X1 Carbon (not the first generation): I would have paid not to have it. I lost so many minutes everyday.[Yes, I know this is optional on MacBook]
mherrmann 2 days ago 2 replies      
The touch bar is going to be really useful for a file manager I'm developing [1]. Traditionally, such file managers use function keys for common tasks (eg. copy with F5). On Mac, you have to press Fn to get the function keys, which is very inconvenient. Now my users can use the traditional key bindings _and_ remember them more easily!

[1]: https://fman.io

mark_sz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Disappointing, almost boring event.

Almost, because it made me laugh when I heard someone saying "incredible" again and app called "TV" :)

poorman 2 days ago 3 replies      
16GB of RAM? Are they serious? I've got 64GB in my MacPro and I can tell you these electron apps (like Slack) are consistently using 20GB of RAM.


Not to mention I use my esc key all day to switch Vim modes in Atom. Disappointed.

beedogs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apple has officially lost the plot. It's truly sad what's happened to what used to be such a great company.
sundvor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Non-physical function keys are a horrible idea for programmers. I wouldn't go near the new MacBook Pro.

Lenovo quickly learned their lesson about that with the Gen2 of the X1C, and reverted to Gen1-style layout in the third generation. I could see myself upgrading then, if my 1st gen still didn't work so well (i7/8/256).

Etheryte 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think a good summary of how "innovative" this release is, is the fact the news didn't even reach top 20 on HN.
josho 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's strange that they killed all the port options, but choose to keep the one port that was removed from the iPhone (the headphone jack).

I appreciate that Apple kills off older tech to push the market forward. But, Thunderbolt, USB3, SD cards, nor HDMI strike me as legacy plugs needing a swift transition. I've yet to encounter a USB-C plug in the wild, so this port killing is a misstep.

quicklyfrozen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, they're dropping the 15" model without dedicated GPU so no 15" under $2k. Dead silence when they announced pricing. :-)
cyphar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wait, why are they talking about "Thunderbolt 3"? Hadn't Apple finally decided to use a standardised protocol for its ports (USB C) rather than creating a new proprietary thing? Or was the Macbook 2015 just an interim design while they worked on some new bullshit proprietary connector? Goddammit.
esseti 1 day ago 0 replies      
What's the next tool for developers? i'm happy with my mac pro, but this "upgrade" has set the milestone for the "don't buy it if you have to develop software". what do you people buy?
3adawi 2 days ago 0 replies      
How am I gonna use intellij with function keys :(
chiph 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Emoji Bar"

Seriously, who did Apple talk to (besides their navels) in designing this? No more dongles, Apple. Not on a pro-level device.

sbuttgereit 2 days ago 0 replies      
An aside, but I just watched the "design video" on the Apple site. Does Apple and Microsoft use the video production team? The exploded device views and the exploding color dust bombs made it seem like the Apple video and the Microsoft Surface Studio video were made by the same people at the same time. Very much the same look and feel.
babygetoboy 2 days ago 0 replies      
For someone who was planning to get this, but not is rethinking, what is a good PC alternative laptop to get to run linux on?
redditmigrant 2 days ago 0 replies      
This finally settles the vim vs emacs debate.
anonymfus 2 days ago 1 reply      
There should be a single thread about all announcements on that event to don't flood front page with separate submissions.
dman 2 days ago 1 reply      
I got downvoted for this comment from 2 days ago https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12783720 =>I am expecting apple to drop both the headphone port and usb ports this time around. Maybe 2x USB C ports on either side
TurboHaskal 2 days ago 1 reply      
They better show another computer refresh later on to save they keynote. This is incredibly gimmicky and disappointing.
erickhill 2 days ago 0 replies      
Too many USB types now. Basically if you want the fancy new MB Pro, you have to sign up for new accessories or lots of ugly (and probably flaky) adapters all over the place. I totally get it, but it's annoying at the same time. I wonder if the Refurb Apple store is going to get nailed...
EpicEng 2 days ago 0 replies      
>And if you really want to go crazy, you can use the 15-inch version to run two 5K displays side by side

Yeah... I wonder how well it can really do that. The thing that always makes me hesitant to jump back to a MB Pro is their terrible GPU performance. I hate spending that much on a machine which can barely run WoW.

Longhanks 2 days ago 2 replies      
The website isn't even updated yet...
x0x0dead 1 day ago 0 replies      
ok agreed USB-C is way forward,what about..-no usb typeB (iphone 7 cable)-headphone jack mismatch (lightning to 3.5mm)-no hdmi -no sdCard Reader (dslr pic transfers.?)they should sell a docking station as well., or wait for 802.11ad for wireless hdmi etc but wait no 7th gen intel processors as well. hmm Mac Pro should be called Mac TouchBar
douche 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why is it being thinner such a draw? This is bordering on too thin for me to comfortably grip.

I'll stick with the EliteBook I just bought for 10% of this price, and damn-near every port ever made. It doesn't really bother me that it's about 3" thick and doesn't have an emoji bar.

blinkingled 2 days ago 1 reply      
Apple's price points are no longer attractive anymore for the laptops. Previously you could buy a current gen MBA 11/13 for decent prices relative to what they offered. You could also buy MacBook Pros for less - for a 15" the starting price is now $2399!
0x0 2 days ago 0 replies      
No tactile escape key and no magsafe is a bit of a letdown, to say nothing of tactile function keys :(
tarikjn 2 days ago 0 replies      
If I had to take some wild predictions/hopes, I'd say:

 - The Thunderbolt Display live on with the iMac, the new iMac having a new Thunderbolt target mode, allowing USB-C Macbooks to use all its peripherals/ports, including the GPU. - This new iMac will also be released with a touchbar keyboard accessory - e-ink keys keyboard will either be released with the new iMac or at a later stage, also triggering an update on Macbooks, which, as a side effect, will allow Apple to reduce its number of SKUs - no new Mac Mini, the iPhone has now enough power to take over that role with a new accessory or target mode and code updates on OS X allowing everyone with an iPhone to try or use OS X - Mac Pro will be updated
In short:

 (1) the thunderbolt display will merge with the iMac (2) the Mac Mini will merge with the iPhone

Mikho 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fact that majority of comments here in MacBook Pro topic are about Surface Studio and whether people still use desktops, and not nearly enough comments about Touch Bar--the only real innovation during Apple event--says a lot about both events.
lifeformed 2 days ago 1 reply      
How does Apple always have the worst websites? They _never_ work properly for me. Do they not test in Chrome Windows? The video links never work, the horizontal sliders are always broken. Aren't they supposed to be good at design or something?
Randgalt 2 days ago 1 reply      
Only 16GB!!!! No!!!!!! That stinks.
weinzierl 2 days ago 0 replies      
The new MacBooks are here and one of them will come with function keys and ESC included. Yeah.
hittaruki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you apple, for not putting a touchscreen on that. As a developer One of the reasons I use mac is that, it is one of the few high end laptops without a touch screen.
setheron 2 days ago 0 replies      
I agree with lots of the sentiment here that the Microsoft lineup looked superior, but what option do I have if I do lots of development that gets deployed to a Linux environment.

I know I can do docker/VM but I like the native coding experience.

jaxondu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Curious will the Touch Bar show the standard function keys when run bootcamped Windows?
weinzierl 2 days ago 0 replies      
The new MacBooks are here and one of them comes with function keys and ESC included. Yeah!
sly010 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fully reinvented .. bla bla .. Our most physically backward incompatible computer yet!
catbird 2 days ago 0 replies      
What would be the best time to buy the previous model of 15" MBP?

The slight bump in processor speed doesn't make up for the loss in connectivity to me. I don't think I could live without magsafe power and an integrated SD card reader.

israrkhan 2 days ago 3 replies      
no physical escape key.. I suspect this will negatively impact vi/vim experience.
merb 2 days ago 0 replies      
the 15" now has less ssd space for the same price than it had previously, i'm not sure if that satisfies me.also the lack of good docks for USB-c is a real bummer.better wait till 17/18 and get one with kaby lake
headmelted 2 days ago 1 reply      

What people don't understand is that the reason Apple stays so far ahead of the rest of the industry year after year is their ability to integrate software and hardware, which as Jony Ive says in the video, is unique to Apple.


reustle 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm so happy they are continuing to offer the 13" pro with function keys.
skMed 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do you know anyone that purchased Logitech keyboards for those sweet visuals on the tiny LCD screen? Me neither. This is a total gimmick. Power users don't look at the keyboard, it's a waste of time.
bitsoda 2 days ago 0 replies      
Constantly having to shift your vision forward and down and back again is a usability nightmare. This isn't too different from the gimmicky nature of the Nintendo Wii U. Apple has lost its compass.
davesque 2 days ago 0 replies      
Other than the touch bar, I feel like the only really interesting thing here is the 4 thunderbolt 3 ports. The rest just seems really underwhelming and leaves me feeling like they hardly put any effort into this.
stillhaveadream 2 days ago 0 replies      
What a waste of my time, was really expecting something better than this.
ComputerGuru 2 days ago 2 replies      
So, really, new touchbar aside, the MBP doesn't really bring much to the table at all, does it? It's a device for pros... who already have the keyboard shortcuts for the same actions the touchbar provides long since memorized. I thought this was supposed to be a MacBookPro event - but it seems like it should be called the Apple touchbar event, really.

I personally found the suggestion that taking my fingers away from my keyboard to tap on the touchbar for autocomplete suggestions would let me "type faster" to be beyond ridiculous and even borderline insulting. Obviously Apple couldn't say - in a room full of developers - "When is the last time you used a function key?," and instead had to go with an awkward joke about no one using IBM mainframes any more...

And power users sharing MacBooks? That automatic profile switching belongs on the new iMac, which is actually a PC meant to be shared with family... oh wait, there is no new iMac, is there?

Craig also deftly avoided mention of the fact that as soon as you let go of the function key, the F1-12 buttons disappear once more - at a time when laptop developers have given up on forcing the alternate Fn behavior over the standard F1-12 buttons by default.

I'm also concerned Apple won't give a damn about making the UI of applications accessible and intuitive and simply assume everyone wants to use the touchbar instead. It seems they've given up on innovating when it comes to desktops and workstations and have decided to simply shoehorn any mobile innovations they have into their notebooks rather than come up with something -actually- useful.

I posted this part yesterday, and I'll post it again:

I just gave up on Apple ever shipping you are MacBooks and received my custom order HP two days before they announced the October 27th event. My (magnesium unibody) ZBook is as slim as my retina MBP, has a higher-PPI display, also comes with a glass trackpad, has user-replaceable battery, 2x M.2 PCIe SSDs, and upgradeable ram. I was able to pay a bit extra and get it with a mobile Xeon CPU (E3-1545m with Intel's top-of-the-line Iris Pro 580 integrated GPU) which is the equivalent of the i7 6920HQ only with more cache and better graphics, meaning I was able to buy 32 GB of ECC RAM for only $130. It has a 4GB nVidia Quadro and still manages to weigh less than my rMBP.

The only thing that sucks is the noise. It's fairly quiet even with the fan running at its highest RPM, but the frequency of the resulting noise is very distinguishable and it has a tendency to rev up and down quite suddenly (and often). It doesn't help that there are two fans, one on each side, which turn on and off independently - meaning you can suddenly feel like you've lost hearing in one of your ears until you realize the noise level is imbalanced.

I don't know if Apple will introduce Xeon workstations (update: they didn't. The crowd clapped at "6th generation Intel" because they didn't realize it meant two year old tech), but even if they did, I'm not sure I'm ready to give up my three USB 3.1 (non-C), three thunderbolt 3 (/USB-C), hdmi, gigabit ethernet, 3.5mm audio/mic, and power ports along with my function keys, home/end/page up/page down buttons, Kensington lock slot, and a proper typing keyboard that celebrates instead of denounces key travel in exchange for a more-pleasant acoustic profile.

While I might be willing to give up the ECC memory I use with my Xeon 1545m for the standard DDR4 Apple's new maxed-out MBP configured with an i7 6920HQ supports (which is otherwise more-or-less identical to the Xeon 1545m, except with less cache), I'm definitely, over-my-dead-body not willing to trade my 32GB of RAM for the paltry 16GB the new MBP offers [0].

Did I mention I've been a faithful Mac user for over a decade?

0: https://neosmart.net/blog/2016/apples-best-newest-macbook-pr...

ant6n 2 days ago 0 replies      
They said fn-keys are a 45-year-old tech we don't need anymore.

Next up: removing the screen, that's 70-year-old tech we don't need anymore either. Let's be brave!

digi_owl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Could have sworn i have seen this come and bomb at least once already...
stillhaveadream 2 days ago 0 replies      
Really a waste of my time.
sidcool 2 days ago 0 replies      
I for one like the new MacBook pro. Good idea to bring touch id, touch bar etc. Think programmable bar. I m sure it can be locked to standard mode. HNers are a tough crowd to please.
drinchev 2 days ago 1 reply      
What about upgradeability. I guess the fight is lost. I thought "Pro" stands for that.

The reason that I will ( probably ) buy Apple MacBooks was narrowed to software compatibility. So sad.

gnicholas 2 days ago 1 reply      
Seeing this makes me want to go out and buy an 11" MBA (currently running a 2013 model), before they're gone. It reminds me of when the 12" Powerbook was retired.
bluehazed 2 days ago 6 replies      
Vim users: best of luck.
pisarzp 2 days ago 0 replies      
They could've at least put lightning port in it. Android and Mac users can now charge and listen to music using same cables, but it's not the case for iPhone
holografix 1 day ago 0 replies      
The day we get a believable competitor the Apple iPhone the MacBook will be dead. Zero innovation coming from Apple right now, just amazing!

I love Apple products but I had to buy a Surface Book due to the lack of updated hardware... guess what: it's a pretty decent laptop and the touch screen + pen is great.

I expected a little more from Apple. Sorry the lcd Fn keys just don't cut it for me I hope I'll be proven wrong but right now I think it's quite a poor gimmick.

ihuman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm happy to see the escape button is still there,and you can bring back the function buttons by pressing the "function" button on the physical keyboard.
greatest-ape 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, people are getting very emotional about this. You know, Apple doesn't have an obligation to create the perfect product for your unique snowflake use case. And you don't have an obligation to buy any of their products either. Like, what are you people expecting from Apple?

A few thoughts of mine:

Pros:- Beautiful, thin, lighter design- Great screen (could of course have been even better)- Fast enough processor for most pro tasks- Judging by Apple's history, very good build quality- Up to 10 hours of battery life- A great OS mixing UNIX and support for professional programs

Neutral:- Touch Bar: might be amazing, might just be an irritation. We don't know yet. I for one think it could be nice for music production and DJing, but likely not for programming. A few people actually use the function keys a lot. As before, they will be available while pressing the fn key. But people might want real keys. Since I use vim a lot, it's irritating that the Esc key won't necessarily always be where I expect it to. Sure, it will be available in the terminal, but in IntelliJ with the vim plugin? I might have to remap Esc to Caps Lock. An irritation but not a major deal breaker for most people.- Only thunderbolt ports. I think this is the right move and in line with expected Apple behavior, but I guess some people want to be able to simply connect old/current generation USB peripherals without any adapters- No more MagSafe. - Faster AMD graphics. This is of course nice, except for CUDA people and people who want to install Linux on their MacBooks (but seriously, why would you want to do that?) Also, positive: good support for external screens. But only for certain ones? I'm not sure about this, has anyone figured out exactly what screens can be used?- New keyboard, which some people will like and some won't.

Negative:- Maximum of 16 GB of RAM, wtf? This is the only major deal breaker I see that applies to many people.- Hefty price. But we're talking about Apple here, folks. Pay to play

To conclude, a great but expensive premium notebook with the major flaw of being limited to 16 GB of RAM. If you really need CUDA support, real function keys or have to be able to plug in various peripherals without adapters, this might not be the right computer for you.

ROFISH 2 days ago 1 reply      
No Displayport 1.3/1.4 means no 5k displays. :( Why spend thousands on a new device when you can't even use modern displays from a standard out since 2014?
hprotagonist 2 days ago 0 replies      
As long as TouchBar supports IDE actions, we're good. If it doesn't, I'll be damned if I have to type Fn Ctrl Alt 6 just to step in a debugger.
antoaravinth 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure if I'm the only one who worried about Apple Logo On Screen lid which is not present in new macbook pro!
hellofunk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use Apple products for most things in my life, but their marketing department has jumped the shark. "A Touch of Genius," it reads. Did they copy this line from page 1 of the "Grand Book of Cliches" ?

If I had just a fraction of a penny for all the times in my life I've heard this phrase, I could buy a majority ownership in Apple, Inc.

adgasf 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does it have lightning so that one can use a single pair of headphones with the new MacBook Pro and an iPhone 7? Seems like a crazy oversight if not.
JoshGlazebrook 2 days ago 0 replies      
They didn't skimp out on the graphics card for once.
bdcravens 2 days ago 0 replies      
Given it's only TB3, and the party line is to get adapters, won't this mean that you'll need to add $100+ to the price for adapters?
smnplk 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think my next ultrabook is going to be the new Dell xps 13(Kaby Lake) or Razer Blade Stealth. Probably not mac anymore.
dfischer 2 days ago 0 replies      
On one hand disappointed - on another hand... what could you really do with a laptop at this point of innovation cycle?
dmritard96 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anybody know what software is used for the design renders/exploded views? Keyshot, Maya, Blender, something else?
collias 2 days ago 1 reply      
It looks like I'll be waiting for the 2nd gen of this.

Gen 2 wishlist:

- Something more than 16GB RAM

- Nvidia GPU (always had issues with ATI)

- Cheaper option with no Touch Bar

- MagSafe power

sly010 2 days ago 0 replies      
It has a headphone jack. How oldschool.
pattisapu 2 days ago 0 replies      
We're here to give you a computer, not a religion.

- attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga

(fortune of the day)

hiram112 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know what is to become of the 2012 13" model that they still contine to sell that allows upgradable ram and HD?

You can still find them for $800 on EBay (brand new), but it doesn't look like it is still available on Apple's site.

There is a 4th 13th inch on the site, instead, but it is not the same as it has 128 SSD and newer graphics. It would be great if this had upgradeable ram and HD.

callesgg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can live without the legacy USB ports but the lack of HDMI and a magnetic charging port is harder.
seaghost 1 day ago 0 replies      
When you look at the venue you see how much they appreciate MacBook brand.
claudiug 2 days ago 4 replies      
given the new mac book pro, genuine question:

What is the best linux notebook that close the gap with macbook pro?

jblake 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not thrilled, but I need to replace my 2011 Air. Apple has me in the corner with Xcode...
sly010 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apple will literally replace the keyboard with a touchscreen an inch at a time. Then everyone will follow suit, so we will all have to use external wireless keyboards (because the USB3- USB2 adapter will cost more than a new keyboard).Fast forward 5 years and Apple will announce "Macbook Bro",a laptop with a tactile buttons!
bfrog 2 days ago 0 replies      
How many apps will really support this for the one or two generations that actually have it?
rdslw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hurry. I need to buy previous generation macbook pro while supplies last. Three years more!
jakebasile 2 days ago 0 replies      
They are also still selling the old models. For the same price as when they were released.
cpr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Of course, as some wag said a while ago, the cost of the MBP that I want remains at $3K. ;-)
0942v8653 2 days ago 0 replies      
For some reason the old page is still showing up for me. The only new thing is this image from the homepage:


hota_mazi 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Our best addition so far: the removal of the ESC key!".

Just kidding.

You can still have one but we moved it.

elcct 2 days ago 0 replies      
With W10 having usable Ubuntu built in I can hardly see a use case for having a mac.
sly010 2 days ago 1 reply      
Where will I stick my yubikey?
sprite 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seriously, no 32gb ram option?
winteriscoming 2 days ago 0 replies      
Esc key gone? Using vi editor is going to be much more fun now!
laurent123456 2 days ago 0 replies      
Still no 17-inches version unfortunately. I don't get why they no longer make one - is there no demand at all for it? It's basically why I've switched to an ASUS laptop since I don't want to bother with an external monitor (not to mention the extra cost).
banhfun 2 days ago 1 reply      
They actually removed the USB ports and function keys, the absolute madmen!
cowardlydragon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Monitors: just buy a quad HD TV for 40-55" for five hundred bucks.
yasky 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am sorry, does anyone know how to navigate this comment page??? I can't even find the 2nd comment. The first comment has tons of replies and I have scrolled 30 pages and cant even find the 2nd comment.
btym 2 days ago 0 replies      
>The space is a small multitouch screen that utilizes gestures and taps to perform a wide variety of different tasks

Oh, like trackpad gestures?

>from showing typing suggestions to displaying tools for various apps all based on the context of what the user is doing at the time.

Oh, like a toolbar?

0x7fffffff 2 days ago 0 replies      
So, does it charge faster if you plug in multiple chargers?
HugoDaniel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does this mean i can put an external gpu in those thunderbolt ports ?
noir-york 2 days ago 0 replies      
All I wanted was an updated Macbook Air. Instead we get a toy bar.

Quo vadis Apple?

elcct 2 days ago 1 reply      
13 inch only 8GB? Wat...
erikb 1 day ago 0 replies      
At the time of this writing this article has 748 points and 1530 comments. For an uncommented link to a product page, really? This is not a shopping site!
out_of_protocol 2 days ago 0 replies      
* two colors, yay!

* model with physical keys is shit (2x less USB-C, way worser CPU etc)

* no physical keys for 15"

* http://i.imgur.com/1Y0Elul.png :)

* jack 3.5 in all models - not brave enough

HugoDaniel 2 days ago 2 replies      
headphone jack ? what kind of treachery is this ? :D
LeicaLatte 2 days ago 0 replies      
Microsofts dominance over desktops has never changed. Be it servers, PCs or game consoles. And it is Apple who have forged their own path into mobile computing these last 15 years.
ianai 2 days ago 0 replies      
am I the only one wondering who wanted a 67% brighter display? I for one would like a display without a backlight...
msh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like the mac mini is dead.

I rather liked that one :(

emilecantin 2 days ago 0 replies      
At least they kept the headphone jack...
pmyjavec 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apple...less is more
arcosdev 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not nearly enough RAM
SocratesV 1 day ago 1 reply      
Understand that for most, yesterday's event was a disappointment. For me it was a good step in the right direction, despite the boring presentation.

(I'm speaking as an Apple user, not claiming Apple came up with all these first)

1. Touch

First they made Apple users get used to, in laptops, working with a trackpad for more functionality than just moving the mouse and clicking. Then they reduced the profile of the keys. Now they've introduced a touchscreen in our keyboard area.

Wouldn't be surprised if we see a move towards a full touch keyboard. How? Not sure. Today "me" would think of some kind of glass like material that could display any layout and image while molding its surface to it (or at least something like the Optimus keyboard done properly). Tomorrow "me" will probably thinking of completely getting rid of it and using the future AirPods as wireless brain interfaces (you can ridicule me for this if you want, I know I would).

Nevertheless, we got physical keys replaced by something more flexible and that will give us a more meaningful interface for what you can do depending on the context we are working in. Alpha-numeric shortcuts will always have a steeper learning curve than an good icon or descriptive button (some real estate issues there for the number of combinations, one for UX to solve).

Know that this doesn't seem much, but it is once you start thinking of the possibilities and that it's only the beginning of what's to come.

Will talk about Microsoft later in this comment...

2. "Standard" ports

Finally! Thunderbolt 3/USB-C.

Dongle fest? Maybe in the first year or two. Then it means every single peripheral (power, external SSD, network, screens) will only use one physical interface to connect to your Apple laptop (others have also started doing this, so the wheels are in motion already).

What about your old peripherals? I'm a hoarder when it comes to tech, so still have PS/2 keyboards and mice at my parents'... Remember then? What about Serial? Sure, it was over a longer period of time, but things evolve quite faster now, especially when you are trying to simplify and make things smaller, lighter. Different physical interfaces are the enemy in these cases.

As I've previously said, was surprised that the iPhone 7 didn't come with Thunderbolt 3/USB-C. Imagine it was either some control issue they wanted to maintain or didn't want to rebuild/refactor that part of the device just yet. Would expect the next iPhone to make the jump and join the USB-C family.

Have addressed the issue of SD Cards and such in comments in the iPhone 7 thread. The future is wireless, which is also valid for cameras. Pain in the short term, bliss in the medium-long. My 2 year old Panasonic compact camera has Wi-Fi, others have Bluetooth (and I'm not saying it's the best experience as it is, mostly due to poor attention to the software, since cards are still the preferred way).

3. Apple TV

They now seem to be a bit more serious about Apple TV. Why? Remember when they used to go silent for years?

Sure, nothing groundbreaking or that it hasn't been done by others, but it is becoming a more enticing device now that they are at least catching up to the rest of the devices. Still think that using it for socialize during sports is grasping at straws. You know you want full screen for the transmission and just use your smartphone/tablet to comment... Maybe work on a better integration there?

4. What about computing (CPU, memory, graphics) power?

Need more than 16GB of RAM at this stage? Better graphics card? Mac Pro. Want a laptop? Not Apple at this point.

Wait for the next iteration. This wasn't one of those, as you only change so much between them to minimise complications.

5. What about the Air?

Look at the Macbook and the new Macbook Pro? The Air was the spearhead, the prototype that made both possible and prepared the audience, it will potentially die, which kind of makes sense (the amount of choice was becoming overwhelming and probably not that efficient from a production POV: more lines to manage and maintain, less focus on each one).

6. Microsoft

Yes, their new computer looks nice, for people in graphic design and audio/video editing maybe.

Going to be polemic, but I think the dial is a gimmick and will be the source of a lot of frustration. You can already do a lot with touch and I reckon physical device feedback is still better than bland plain touch. However apart for a niche application, I don't see the general public using it.

Big touch screen? Unless they revolutionise the way we do touch and interact with the OS, and I hope they do, it will get boring and a pain to use for most people that simply browse, watch videos, listen to music, send emails and play some games. Kids? You probably go for an iPad Pro or equivalent, something you can carry around easily.

Final thoughts

My take on Apple at the moment is that, despite what people say, that they've lost their way and are doomed, I think that's not going to happen, they do have a vision for their ecosystem and they are focusing on it, both on the hardware as well as well as the services side and experience.

They are slowly introducing changes which minimises the risk (of going down the wrong path) and allows them to learn more from users as they go. Think that 5 years from now when you look back, the evolution and experience will be quite clear (and again, the mostly mocked AirPods are going to be pivotal in this, not because of the sound or current function but because of what, as a device to be developed, they'll enable).

We cannot expect big bang innovation every year or even every few years and when it does happen, you then take a while to refine it and make it better.

frenck 2 days ago 1 reply      
Time to hit ESC... ow... wait... :( :S
obiefernandez 2 days ago 1 reply      
Where the hell are the USB ports?
cygned 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just bought one.

Too sad, the MacBook Air is dead.

mick_schroeder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can it play Civ VI?
floor__ 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't believe they didn't increase the ram. Wait till next year I guess.
emars 2 days ago 0 replies      
microsoft employees pls go
vermooten 2 days ago 0 replies      

I'm sad that i waited this long only to be disappointed.

It was a COO's view of being innovative.

nwrk 2 days ago 0 replies      
The ESC on touch bar is really funny
adamnemecek 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do apps have to be changed to use the OLED bar or does it work automagically.
Matachines 2 days ago 0 replies      
A sorta-maxed out non-Touch 13" Pro looks perfect except the lack of ports :/
wkirby 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm beginning to think Steve Jobs didn't die, he just got hired by Microsoft.
msie 2 days ago 2 replies      
Does it have user-serviceable memory? I doubt it.
leitasat 2 days ago 1 reply      
No USB-C port? That's I call consistency!
milankragujevic 2 days ago 1 reply      
DAAAMN what a disappointment. No Mac Mini, no iMac... Well, might as well not buy a new computer afterall... :S
aabajian 2 days ago 0 replies      
The top 14 comments are negative. Five of them are about Microsoft's announcement yesterday. It's almost as if MSFT is paying for these comments.
Eve: Programming designed for humans witheve.com
982 points by ibdknox  1 day ago   361 comments top 72
jbclements 1 day ago 18 replies      
I think that Eve is tackling the wrong problem.

Allow me an analogy: "Bronk, the math designed for humans." Instead of dense algebraic expressions like "3x+49", you get to write "thrice the value of x plus 49." You may consider this a straw man, but I think that if you look hard at existing programming languages, you'll see that they are all designed for humans, and that the challenge in programming is in formulating your thoughts in a precise fashion. Should languages create higher-level abstractions to allow humans to reason about programs more efficiently? Yes! But that's not what this environment is about.

I do see one possible rebuttal to this, which would be an entirely different form of programming that is to traditional programming what google search is to the semantic web; that is, rather than specify programs precisely, we give examples to an approximate system and hope for the best. In many ways, that's how our biological systems work, and they've gotten us a long way. I don't see that happening in Eve, though.

ibdknox 1 day ago 7 replies      
Hi All!

Many of the folks here have been following us for a long time and we're really excited to finally pull everything together to show you all where our research has taken us. Eve is still very early [1], but it shows a lot of promise and I think this community especially will be interested in the ideas we've put together. As many of you were also big Light Table supporters, we wanted to talk about Eve's relationship to it as well [2].

We know that traditionally literate programming has gotten a bad rap and so we laid out our reasoning for it here. [3]

Beyond that, we expect there will be a lot of questions, so we'll be around all day to try and answer them. We'll also been doing a bunch of deep dives over the next several weeks talking about the research that went into what you're seeing here, how we arrived at these designs, and what the implications are. There was just way too much to content to try and squeeze it all into this page.

Also, a neat fact that HN might be interested in:

Eve's language runtime includes a parser, a compiler, an incremental fixpointer, database indexes, and a full relational query engine with joins, negation, ordered choices, and aggregates. You might expect such a thing would amount to 10s or maybe 100s of thousands of lines of code, but our entire runtime is currently ~6500 lines of code. That's about 10% the size of React's source folder. :)

[1]: http://programming.witheve.com/deepdives/whateveis.html

[2]: http://programming.witheve.com/deepdives/lighttable.html

[3]: http://programming.witheve.com/deepdives/literate.html

petermcd 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
Some great approaches here!

I like the medium-like bar on the left to browse blocks. Checking the boxes next to the blocks you want to show is a neat way to make a view of just the functions you want to look at. Putting it in a browser, like iPython/Jupyter improves accessibility for people whose main job is not developing software (the Eve demo makes a good example of being able to pass an analytics view to a teammate in marketing).

I do find myself wondering how a literate programming system like this would scale for a large project (I expect the Eve team have thought about this more than I can imagine).

Great polish on the demo, too :)

grzm 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think there's potentially a lot of ways we can improve our programming environments. I like moon shots, people willing to explore new ways that are unconventional, approaching problems in different ways. I've followed Light Table and have been looking forward to seeing what Chris and friends come up with for Eve.

That said, this is feeling very grandiose. I'd like to understand more clearly where they see Eve being useful and where Eve would not be useful. For example:

- how does one implement new algorithms? A simple example, how do I write Quicksort?

- can Eve be written in Eve?

Admittedly, I haven't thought about this nearly as much as the Eve team has. And perhaps I'm just lacking the required imagination at this point. That said, I'd like to see these types of questions addressed. There's nothing wrong with a tool that's useful in a particular set of circumstances. I'd like to know what the Eve team thinks those circumstances are.

rafaelferreira 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seeing Eve's development out in the open is inspiring. Many of the commenters are coming from positions of extreme skepticism towards new approaches to programming, probably justified by the history of the field, but I'd recommend to spend some more time looking into the research idbknox and his team have been conducting (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZQoAKJPbh8, for instance) and how much they have iterated based on user experimentation.

A few questions come to mind now:1 - This new demo, with the messaging app sample, and references to "my pm wants this or that" seems to point a change in positioning, from targeting non-programmers to professional programmers. Is this accurate?

2 - Is there a plan to integrate the grid-style or the adlibs style UI into this new iteration?

3 - If non-programmers are still a target, it seems to me that the ease of importing data from external sources would important to reach broad usage. Any research here?

4 - Html and css might be a hurdles for new users, any way Eve will help on this front?

(edited for formatting)

king_magic 1 day ago 7 replies      
How is this significantly different from something like Light Table? (edit: didn't realize it was build by the people who built Light Table). It feels like a rehash of that + Python notebooks, with a bit of Xcode's playground thrown in.

Problem is that despite those tools being available, I literally never use them. Ever. Nor do I have a need for them.

I kind of like the idea of being able to find bits of code in a larger codebase in a document-like format. That's actually a pretty neat innovation here.

But beyond that, I don't think I'd use this (edit: per comment thread conversation below, I'm upgrading this to not being sure if I'd used this, but it's a maybe). I need an IDE that will help me through the Battle of Stalingrad, not a basic case like a police offer pulling someone over for a speeding ticket, which is what many of these kinds of next-gen UIs always seem to show.

Basic stuff is easy enough to accomplish right now. I don't need a new IDE to help me add a button to each row in a list any quicker than I currently can with existing tools, and I feel like a core problem with these types of efforts are that they start with basic cases and never really progress from there - many engineering problems simply do not reduce down to adding a button to a screen.

That all said - I think if you pivoted and built a wiki-like overlay that could be dropped over an arbitrary codebase (e.g. extrapolate out the document-like overlay over code to document and organize a codebase), holy crap, I would instantly pay money for that, especially if it was distributed team-friendly.

highCs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think this is awesome and I encourage this extraordinaire effort.

Here are my reasons:

1. I've actually coded something similar a long time ago (I think Eve is even better than my solution) and it worked. My team and I were able to make entire apps in a heartbeat.

2. The reason it works is because, as pg famously wrote, programmers think in the language they use. Our cognitive load and power are function of the language we think in.The key to Eve on this purpose is that you can program not only your app, but the development organisation that goes with it. Also, it is beginner friendly.

3. With 1. and 2., you get that Eve is related to reflectivity and homoiconicity. Maybe it is what's behind homoiconicity: your code and your organisation share the same language.

I wish the Eve team the best.

DonaldFisk 1 day ago 0 replies      
First impressions: I like the look of this language/IDE. It's not general purpose but it seems to be good at what it does. I think live programming - where you make changes to your code and immediately see the effect without having to recompile and restart your system - is the way forward. The adoption of literate programming is interesting - I think commenting code is unsatisfactory for a variety of reasons and am looking for an alternative, and Knuth's idea might be worth building on. The other idea I like is the ability to point at a widget and find out the code that draws it - that makes debugging a lot easier.
qwertyuiop924 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a neat idea. But I'm wary of the pitch, at least a little. I like to know what my code is doing, at least in general. So when they said "programming designed for humans," that worried me: I don't like magic, that that's usually what "programming for humans" entails.
nercht12 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems to me it will have some good uses. The promo of it being "more human" is a stretch, yes, esp. given the actual programming language didn't look any friendlier than any other language imo (e.g. world<-[#div style: [user-select: "none" -webkit-user-select: "none" -moz-user-select: "none" children ...)But it's nice of them to make a valiant effort at trying to create a new method of doing things. Reading the "What Eve Is" page is helpful:

http://programming.witheve.com/deepdives/whateveis.html"Being explicitly designed for data transformation, there are somethings that Eve will particularly excel at..." (after beta stage, of course)

That said, it'll be interesting to see what software people decide to create with it and where this system excels.

zerker2000 1 day ago 0 replies      

 Instead of thousands of debugger options, let's have a magic tool where you click on the thing that's going wrong.
There are reasons for the thousands of options though! Like, "debug this specific object" or "breakpoint when this condition is satisfied" exist as primitives already; there's more complexity there than just "what is the data backing this UI element". If Eve has indeed managed to get away from needing them, that is laudable, but it would be achieved by the full set of things you might want to do being blindingly obvious, not "magic" special-cases for "I was expecting something here and I don't see it"

alkonaut 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks a lot excel or Access, but better. Excel is also just a database of state and a global update "tick". Anyone who is a programmer has probably at one time or other taken that spreadsheet or Access utility used for task X at a company and tried to make a "real" application out of it - only to realize that it takes an enormous amount of time.

This would help with those scenarios. Its perhaps not the best tool for general programming but it looks promising for creating maintainable data centric utilities. Instead of all those spreadsheets.

loeber 1 day ago 2 replies      
I like the look of this project, and it's in many ways inspiring, but here's my cynical take:

I think that Eve won't be conducive to creating applications beyond a few hundred lines of code -- after that, the "human-friendly" programming paradigm becomes an obstacle to production. Once people actually understand how the code works, the document style becomes superfluous.

I suspect that Eve will be a great learning tool and pique the interest of those who would otherwise never program, but Eve will be an introductory tool that users will inevitably graduate from to other languages that are perhaps more powerful, concise, and scale better.

lahardy 1 day ago 1 reply      
It seems like you are aiming for two main things at once, 1) to create a "literate programming" environment (document structure, real-time visualization, etc) and (in service of that?) to use this "world as data" model. As a non-expert programmer, I have to say I don't quite understand the implications of the search/bind/commit approach, specifically whether it was necessary in order to implement the features of the environment that make it human-friendly, or whether you consider it to be, in itself, a human-friendly approach.

My feeling is that the language itself is not really any more human-friendly than any other. You say in the "what Eve isn't" section that it's not for non-programmers-- but if the environment and language were both truly human-friendly, one benchmark of that would likely be a lower barrier to entry for non-programmers.

That said, again as a non-expert programmer, I see massive value particularly in the "document" approach-- though I see it less as human-friendly, and more as human(s)-friendly. Most of my programming experience has been as a graduate student, either scientific programming or (small) app and website development, and it is often the case that code is passed down in time from person to person. Each time you get someone else's project you initially have to rely on code organization conventions, file names and comments to figure out how the program really fits together, before you can even start working with it (and the tendency, for small-ish projects, is to want to avoid this work and just rewrite it yourself). The code-as-document approach seems wildly better for these particular use cases. I want to echo king_magic's comment, that if a wiki-like overlay could be used on top of an arbitrary codebase, it would go a long way toward human(s)-friendly programming, and I'd use the heck out of it.

jhomedall 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've just started following along with the quick-start tutorial, and I have to say that the presentation is quite fantastic.

Combining the source, tutorial documentation and program output along with the ability to selectively enable blocks of code makes for a unique experience that I haven't seen elsewhere (Jupyter Notebook comes quite close, however). I recommend anyone reading this to give it a shot: http://play.witheve.com/#/examples/quickstart.eve

It's a shame the majority of the posters here seem to be preoccupied with the tagline, rather than the actual project.

stungeye 15 hours ago 1 reply      
As a programming instructor the Eve demo video gave me goosebumps. The emphasis on prose+code, world=data, and the discoverability afforded by the inspector are of particular interest to me.

Our current learning stack for folks with zero coding experience is Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu) to Processing (https://processing.org) to Java.* I'll be watching the Eve project carefully to see how it might fit into our intro to programming path.

*If these intro students continue to our full program they learn C#, SQL, PHP & JS/HTML too.

hacker_9 1 day ago 0 replies      
So my immediate thoughts are this looks very nice for designing websites with. It does look like the ideas all rely on a static webpage though (not many moving parts). As I understand it, your page is built with a set of tagged content in a DB, and then further queries can access data via those tags. You've fit together a DB + real time feedback + visualisations in an appealing way that actual makes creating webpages look fun. Something that is otherwise a terribly monotonous task in the current JavaScript climate.

I wonder how well these ideas work as you ramp up to complex algorithms though. For example 5 nested for loops with 10 000 records of data would likely choke your visualisation to death. Also often the decision of choosing your data structures (list vs hash table vs concurrent queue vs ...) are paramount to the performance of the application. A single DB I can't imagine always being the best approach, but one idea could be to measure the data frequency passing though and optimise for the best structure perhaps? Similar to how SQL operates at the moment.

The idea of splitting functionality up into blocks is interesting, though I think you are focusing too much on the literate side of things. I think I would just keep the English text to a minimum, only explaining the 'why' and let the code explain the 'what/how'. But forgetting that, the block separation idea is nice enough on it's own, especially with the table of contents.

I've not looked very in-depth at the language, but what you did in the video did seem a bit like magic at times, and the simplicity seemed to hint at a lot of code hidden away behind simple looking APIs. Meaning doing anything out of the norm would find yourself having to roll a lot of your own code, but I could be assuming wrongly here so won't dwell on it.

I did notice that there was no autocomplete popups in the video. Does this mean you've forgone a type system of any sort? I would hope not as TypeScript has shown the productivity hike adding a few simple type annotations can give. Fully 'dynamic' code bases tend to be nightmares after a certain LOC threshold.

All in all congrats for giving a new outlook on programming by combining a set of old ideas in a new streamlined way, and giving HN something else to grumble about for a while!

afhammad 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was just listening to DHH's interview [0] on Tim Ferriss's podcast. On the question of beautiful code DHH said among other things "I open up any piece of code in Basecamp and it kind of reads like a great table of contents..." That immediately made me think of the work being done with Eve based on recent screenshots. Can't wait to try it out.

[0] http://fourhourworkweek.com/2016/10/27/david-heinemeier-hans...

xaduha 1 day ago 0 replies      
In all honesty I'm more impressed by this [1], but I will take a look.

[1] http://www.red-lang.org/2016/07/eve-style-clock-demo-in-red-...

cocktailpeanuts 1 day ago 3 replies      
"An IDE like Medium, not Vim"

What's wrong with Vim? I think they're trying to cater to "the non-programmer crowd" with this, but by trying so hard it's alienating real programmers. I love vim, and I hate Medium with passion. I'm sure there are a lot of other HN people who are not so much a fan of the types of people who just write meta posts, rant posts, listicle posts, self help posts, growth hacking posts on Medium and call themselves a "maker" without actually building anything meaningful. So, you've lost me there Eve. Anyway, that aside, looking more into how this tool really works, this is NOT something an everyday Joe will use like they speak English. This is an actual programming language. The language itself is no easier than python or ruby (actually subjectively speaking the syntax is less intuitive than python for example).

Also I think they're imagining that Excel users will just eat this up, since it's kind of like how people run pseudo-programs on excel documents. But people used those because Excel was the most popular app that lets them work with numbers back then. Now there are many ways to achieve what Eve is trying to do, plus Excel. Why would any lay person jump on an obscure technology doesn't do anything significantly new?

Overall I think there's a problem with assuming that this is for "humans" just because it's "literate programming". "Humans" don't want all this literate programming stuff exposed. They just want to push a button and take care of things. On the other hand, programmers (I guess we should call them "non-humans") don't need all this literate programming stuff. They are trained to understand how programming languages work. They may think this is neat at first, but very soon will start to think all these comments are getting in the way.

I have personally never seen any programming related technology titled "... for humans" actually work for "humans". Perhaps because these tend to be built by extremely talented programmers who are too talented that they are out of touch with how their grandma uses computers, they probably think their creations are easy enough for "humans".

Sorry if this sounded too negative. I am willing to discuss and correct my comments if I am wrong about anything.

delegate 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fantastic work.

The 'story-like' literate programming is the direction in which programming will (should) move in the future imho.

Visually, you could explore the idea of 'literal-visual' programming (just invented), something like:

commit [#imageFor #student "student-icon.jpg"]

Then have a button to toggle between rendering records as text and 'visual' records, in which "[#student ] is replaced with a pictogram. Now you have a more 'abstract' look at the algorithm - could be interesting.

Similarly, an entire block of code could be switched to 'visual view', which displays the block as an image, which could be, for example, the screenshot of the last output it produced.


The Core language is interesting - declarative, functional and dynamically typed (right?) query language. Some Prolog scent there.

My only concern is that it might be a bit too 'limited' for larger scale applications ?

But for exploratory data mining, it looks like a great tool.

It seems to be well suited for queries in large scale distributed databases (like a p2p network) - is my intuition correct ?

If true, then I can see interesting ways in which Eve could be integrated with ipfs for example and used as a data mining tool...

I enjoy things that create sparks of ideas in my mind, Eve has done that for me today ;).

andreyk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very exciting. Feels predictable that there is some push-back from all us programmers used to 'normal' languages (and the wording on some of this does not help), but when you think about the language itself and not the 'Medium-like' IDE I find it genuinely very interesting. The whole threading and records concepts here are neat...

As always the question is whether it will scale - being so distributed code-wise seems to imply it will also be hard to trace errors or perhaps at some point increase confusion. Would this work for giant complicated apps/websites? Would be nice to see examples/attempts at that.

zenobit256 1 day ago 10 replies      
Sorry, but what about this is "designed for humans"?

What do the keywords mean? What's the language paradigm? Why do I want this when it's essentially coalescing a lot of APIs into a language that you've provided no spec for?

Why would I want my language to work with slack?!

I'm not impressed. It just looks like another functional language with a bunch of addons tacked on to make things "easier" or "for humans".

Drop the buzzwords and get to the meat please.

sebastianconcpt 1 day ago 1 reply      
I celebrate trying this. The last time that there was serious attempt at this was Smalltalk and it had a great impact on the industry. Itself a great balance of friendly instant feedback and great control. There is also Apple's Playgrounds now with Swift trying more or less on this.Definitively the instant feedback is a key component in having the right introduction to computing. If we extend this idea we'll find that we need this in the debugger too. It works because is the best way to replace imagination and assumptions with perceptions.
agumonkey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pretty neat (understatement). From a quick glance, blend of notebook/literate with smalltalkish introspection.

Kudos for keeping at the idea for long (I remember when you left LT and talked about possible ideas a while back) and delivering something that simple yet inspiring.

ps: the team bug fixing interactions reminds me of IBM Jazz days, it seemed so heavy, and here it seems so light.

SCdF 1 day ago 1 reply      
This looks cool! Always like seeing what idbknox comes up with.

I'm still reading stuff, so apologies if this is answered elsewhere, but what is the plan / workflow / constraints to handle prose getting out of line with code? In current software I read / write it's already an issue, I feel like the more you take out of code and put into prose the more this could become a challenge.

I'll keep digging and reading, awesome work!

grok2 1 day ago 2 replies      
Underwhelming so far. Literate programming sounds good, but sometimes it's too much text and you want to quickly scan a few lines of code and guess what's going on without reading that wall of text. I wonder if this is for regular programming or for occasional programmers (non-programmers really) to try "stuff" out.
AtroxDev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, I enjoyed the first video in the post way more than expected. Looks very promising.
webmaven 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of interesting ideas are implemented in this version of Eve, but there are two goals (both implied and made explicit in various places) for "programming designed for humans":

- Make it easier for non-programmers to program

- Make it easier for programmers to program

While I can see that the current roadmap advances toward both those goals, I don't see what the Eve team plans to do when those two goals start pulling in opposite directions.

Will Eve be kept simple and a second UI be created for programmers? Or will Eve continue to be the programmers' tool, and a second UI be created for non-programmers in mind?

The alternative of keeping a single tool for both audiences makes me shudder, as it will literally end up being "code in Word". It is precisely because Word tries to be all things to all people writing prose that it is such a bloated mess (granted, it isn't the only reason, but it is a major one).

I'm not even certain whether a UX for non-programmers would just a subset of the one for programmers, or if there are likely to be features specific to non-programmers.

kybernetikos 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I absolutely loved the semantic wiki stuff that was shown towards the end of the "In search of tomorrow" video. This seems fairly different to that system. Is there a write up/talk about why you changed? Is there anything like that semantic wiki thing available for me to use?


turingbook 1 day ago 0 replies      
@ibdknox 's blog "Two years of Eve" is useful to understand why of Eve: http://www.chris-granger.com/
dragonwriter 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know if it's more or less "for humans" than any other programming environment, but I think the search/bind/commit model is an important interesting approach. Given a good enough way to connect new external resources as Eve databases, I can see that model making Eve incredibly productive as a high-level glue language.
CGamesPlay 1 day ago 1 reply      
How do you use Eve programs? Are they constrained to a sidebar in the IDE, or do they compile to something that can be distributed?
yk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, I think this sounds quite good, in fact it sounds so good that it is probably not true. And reading to the page, I stumble over the sentence

> An IDE like Medium, not Vim

Thing is, vim is not complicated because of some misplaced elitism, vim is complicated because it helps with complicated problems. (I am a zealot for the church of Emacs, when I say something "nice" about vim, it is because honesty or pointy objects force me.)

Unfortunately it goes downhill from there, it is nice that there is a way to visualize memory in five lines of code, but what about the memory of the following three processes (and the one thread in red and the others in some other color?) In my experience, there is a trade off between the power of a language and the impressiveness of the examples. (A better example would probably be the twitter api, does that mean I need to beg the core developers to talk to the next "slack for dogs" api?)

Then there is the "zoom" feature, I have not the slightest idea what that is supposed to mean. (Actually I have, I just don't think that this side of a strong AI coworker it is possible to hide information in any useful way. (Hiding information is just the inverse of zoom.)

And to top it of, there is a link to the demo and the first thing I notice is, scrolling is broken. (Arch, Firefox, NoScript with in this case all JS sources allowed) Well, the first thing a IDE should allow me to do is to display text in the most reliable way possible, even if that means more than one page. (Plus it is in a browser, which may or may not be only for demonstration purposes, but at the very least the browser uses the right mouse button to display browsery options not IDE options.)

After having fired up chromium, there the IDE works and it actually works kind of well. To keep with the overall negative tone of the comment, almost as good as Jupyter. The first thing I notice, is that one can switch code blocks on and off, but the output depends non linearly on the set of switched on code blocks. For this one would likely need some kind of toggles for sets of code blocks if it should be usable at all. (So to switch on extra test cases, or to test only one part of the program, etc.)

In conclusion, it is a nice project and I wish the devs all the best. Hopefully one of these days someone manages to get literate programming to work. But I think that there are quite a few things which make me doupt that this is, what makes literate programming work in the end.

oelmekki 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the radical shift around documentation that is played on, here. I won't switch from my usual languages to use Eve, obviously, but there are super interesting ideas in it, I will watch it closely.

Did you consider any niche market where it could actually become the main tool? Education come in mind first, but I'm not sure it would be a good "introduction to programming", given how different it's from, well, all other languages. Maybe it could be good in art classes, though, helping kids to build digital and interactive creations, and even write a story around need, through the documentation centric approach.

thallukrish 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel to make programming easier, we need a assistant (intelligent in whatever sense you call it :-) that can figure out the 'intent' of the code by reading it and be able to point out bugs by learning from millions of source code in Github.

I wrote in this article


dancek 1 day ago 4 replies      
While this is a very early version, something like it will eventually put most programmers out of work. Probably it'll be another language/tool and it won't be very soon, but at some point writing trivial software will actually be trivial.

It's ironic, being a programmer that automates things that people used to do manually, and kind of doing good but leaving someone unemployed. How fitting it will be to suddenly become mostly obsolete as a profession, due to programming being very easy or even done by AI. Dogfooding, anyone?

clintons 1 day ago 1 reply      
From first look, looks like rubyish types of languages. Maybe it strikes a cord with someone else.

After 15 years I've learned to hate languages like these for building anything slightly complex.


The great thing about all these languages is there's choice for everyone. There are as many pet peeves and ways of thinking as there are developers. There is a language for (almost) every type of case needed.

So use whatever the hell makes you love programming the most (or hate it the least), gets the job done right and makes your business(or employer) money or does something helpful for your users.

I might like like the flavor you like but, you might not like mine either. And guess what, we might both be totally right about the requirements met by the languages we use for our own work.

OOPMan 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Looking at the examples, it seems like Eve is really just a DSL for performing a number of common preset interactions within the web browser.

Maybe I missed something but it doesn't seem like this is really designed for usage outside the browser environment?

As such it seems like this is really just a very high-level layer on top of JS rather than a general-purpose programming language, a lot like Jupyter Notebook and friends.

I guess the biggest challenge Eve faces is the same one faced by all those other 5GL "languages" that are now rotting at the bottom of a dumpster: How do you become relevant beyond a tiny niche problem space?

famerr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm sorry guys,I see you made a great work. But until it goes to visual programming kind of things it will look like SQL-like language, which I like btw. But visual would be a really next step keep on with those things.And world-like document is really a great idea.Thank you.
hinkley 1 day ago 1 reply      
The first question I always ask, and often the most deadly:

How do you handle version control, and merge conflicts?

If you don't have that figured out, none of the rest of this matters. Because a programming language designed for one developer isn't designed for building software.

tehwalrus 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me a lot of the ipython notebook.

I still think Python is a programming language well suited to humans: I'm not sure I want to try to understand (and hold in my head while debugging) how seventeen disjoint blocks of code interact in an event driven UI like in the messaging app example, clever highlighting/jumping or no.

ar-jan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've occasionally checked on Eve's progress since I first saw it mentioned here on Hacker News about two years ago - nice to see all the progress you've made!

A question regarding the centrality of data: when I first read about this, I thought an important part would be a kind of user interface for building relational databases - perhaps something like fieldbook. You mention Eve already includes a relational query engine - is a UI for modelling tables and for data entry also on the roadmap?

empath75 1 day ago 1 reply      
How would you interact with a rest api with this?
n_mca 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks cool, but can somebody point me towards the details? As in, I'm a semantics / pl-theory person and want to know wtf is going on...
cperkins 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is very exciting. The growth from Eve 0 to Eve 0.2 is remarkable - it's clear you have not been afraid of starting over as you've made realizations.
zwischenzug 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure 'effect' in the first doc is grammatically incorrect. Either way, the ambiguity confused me. Not a great sign for such a language.
onetwotree 1 day ago 0 replies      
> From a technical standpoint, Eve is a variant of Datalog

This is what I needed to understand what you're up to here, oddly enough.

From http://programming.witheve.com/deepdives/whateveis.html (which might not be up to date?).

squar1sm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anything that increases feedback and visualization is great. It's not about the storage of the code it's about the communication paths between the programmer and the computer and making that higher bandwidth and quick turn-around. I love what I see with saving the session (lisp state) and replaying it.

If not this, then this idea. Or this idea with more time and features. Impressive already.

Thomasdah 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I really like this project. It is based on principles i can get behind.

Since this is a web based programming language - i really would like to know how to interop with JavaScript.

In my case i need to use the pixi.js renderer

leke 1 day ago 0 replies      
The syntax reminds me of a language I played with many years ago called REBOL. Even some of the terminology is the same, like a "block".
smaddox 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any attempt to re-imagine programming is refreshing, but it's unclear to me if this is more than a domain specific language (DSL). Is it possible to implement, for example, the bar graph from lower primitives?
psiclops 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reminds me of luna language [0], a functional language that allows you to write code with text or a UI. I saw two of the creators present this at a GDG event in SF

[0] http://www.luna-lang.org/

eternalban 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reminded me of Wolfram's Mathematica.
zubairq 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here is the link to play with Eve in case you can't find the link:


FraserGreenlee 1 day ago 0 replies      
If this takes of it will create an awesome dataset for a description to code ai!
theideasmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
aikah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Meh, looks like Redlang, Rebol and co. In practice these kind of languages lead to easy to write/hard to read codebases due to the lack of visual cues and structure. But the IDE is nice though.
zindlerb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks really cool! I'm excited to test out a few programs.
taneq 1 day ago 3 replies      
This smells like a game maker app, in the sense that it's hiding "all that messy coding stuff" behind "a simple friendly interface."

Programming isn't about syntax. It's about telling the computer exactly what you want it to do, in every possible situation. The hard part isn't the language you use to tell the computer what to do. The hard part is making sure the instructions you're giving match what you want to happen.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but every time I've encountered something that's meant to 'make programming easier', once you get beyond 'hello world' all it does is get in the way. You still have to communicate the same amount of information to the computer, but now you're doing it with duplo blocks instead of a milling machine.

pmontra 1 day ago 0 replies      
A suggestion to the designer of the language: do whatever it takes to get rid of those square brackets. They don't belong to a language for humans, not in that quantity. As a bonus, remove also @ and #.

All the rest looks good. Hopefully it will influence other languages to display their inner workings in a more visual way, maybe even the mainstream ones.

edem 1 day ago 1 reply      
LightTable was not updated for a year now. I actually backed it and now the IDE seems abandoned never to reach 1.0. I've lost trust in the developers and I won't recommend Eve to anyone because of the fear that they will abandon it as well and start chasing the next big dream.
jlebrech 1 day ago 0 replies      
can this be adapted for touch?
Edmond 1 day ago 0 replies      
Love it.
partycoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the best way to introduce a new concept to someone is to do it in terms of something the person is already familiar with.

You can introduce programming by making an analogy with a cooking recipe, where you have ingredients (input), and a desired output (whatever the recipe is for). The recipe would process the input and through a sequence of defined steps, turn it into the output.

The average human is familiar with the concept of cooking to some extent so we can say that analogy would work "for humans".

This, in contrast, fast-forwards directly into some concepts like functions, how to evaluate functions, etc... and that's where I stopped reading. This is not "for humans". Might be a viable language, sure. But let's be objective, leave superlatives and weird claims aside.

jlebrech 1 day ago 0 replies      
i see the first problem is that you're generating HTML
1 day ago 1 day ago 2 replies      
superninja234 1 day ago 3 replies      
If I copy and paste ruby code in to a word doc, can I program like a human too?
miloshadzic 1 day ago 0 replies      
This "for humans" shit has to stop.
dboreham 1 day ago 0 replies      
Someone needs to be given a lollipop?
soared 1 day ago 0 replies      
>Target market is not programs

>Only place to try it out is on github

Github is the most terrifying place on the internet for 90% of users (non-developers). I cannot stand when a project is trying to market to regular users but hosts any content on github. I get that this is an early alpha, but come on..

tomc1985 1 day ago 0 replies      
Replace "for humans" with "for stupid humans" and you get to the truth

How selfish is it that everything has to be "for humans" anyway? Why can't it just be? Let's not further complicate already-complicated abstractions.

Soylent halts sales of its powder as customers keep getting sick latimes.com
734 points by whitepoplar  2 days ago   995 comments top 93
Animats 1 day ago 11 replies      
Soylent made such a big deal of being a "tech company", and boasted about their overdesigned web infrastructure for a business that did two transactions a minute.

What they didn't have is advanced technology on the production side. They write about "sending samples out" to external labs. It's not like they had an automated lab constantly sampling their production line and posting the results to the web. There are production line testing machines for biological contamination and for elemental analysis. About 80% of food plants have in-house testing facilities. What's Soylent got?

resfirestar 1 day ago 7 replies      
I guess one great thing about Soylent threads is bringing all the urban myths around nutrition out into the open. People in this thread believe everything from "people on liquid diets don't poop!" to "if you put some berries in a blender and drink it, you're getting entirely different nutrition from eating the berries raw!" That second one is a bit of a strawman, but it shows how absurd claims that crushing or grinding foods ruins the nutrition sound.

But the main one I want to call out is "Ensure is well-researched", which seems to have reached self-perpetuating status. Go ahead, type terms related to Ensure into PubMed or Google Scholar. I would cite a particular one if any of them turned up anything. The most prominent independent examination of Ensure's nutritional value (that I've found) came when Abbott was forced to settle with the FTC in the late 90s for falsely advertising Ensure as doctor-recommended and useful to drink with an already healthy diet.[0] If you're not interested in reading it, the FTC's main complaints were over false claims about doctor recommendations and the fact that Ensure's advertising compared a single can to a multivitamin.

[0] https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/cases/1997...

rl12345 1 day ago 8 replies      
Soylents product itself has zero novelty in it. Meal Replacement Powders (MRPs) have been around for decades and are popular among the bodybuilding crowd. The only innovation Soylent has brought to the table was being the first company to market MRPs to geeks and hipsters -- and that's it. Personally, I've never tried their product because the ingredients they use seemed average/fudged at best (and I tend to avoid brands that pop out of nowhere with a lot of hype). Tip: if you care about maximizing the quality of your dietary supplement, research and buy each ingredient individually, and then mix it all up yourself.
djsumdog 2 days ago 18 replies      
I'm really amazed by all the supporters on here. When I first heard about Soylent, I thought it was a terrible terrible idea. I mean, there's so much to food. It's not just eating it, it's all the flavours and ingredients and cooking with friends and loved ones and parties and such. I'm guessing most people on here use it as a supplement + regular food, but when I saw it originally, it seemed like it was intended to be someone's only source of food.

I think I'll just stick to Quest bars when I'm too busy to eat right. :-P

rgrove 1 day ago 0 replies      
I bought a box of Soylent bars to use as occasional between-meal backups, since I sometimes miss a meal while traveling or because I forget to eat lunch.

Over the course of a few weeks I ate two or three bars and was fine. Then one day I missed lunch, ate a bar, and about four hours later started feeling nauseous and experienced the worst diarrhea of my life.

Let's just say I'm glad it hit me when I was at home, within tightly clenched shuffling distance of a good sturdy toilet.

By the next morning I felt fine.

I have no known food allergies or sensitivities. On no occasion did I eat more than one bar in a single day, and I don't think I ever even ate bars on two consecutive days.

I do remember thinking, while eating that last bar, that it didn't taste quite as good as I remembered the other bars tasting. It seems possible that the bars contained inconsistent amounts of an ingredient and the last one just happened to have a larger amount of whatever did me in.

I sure would like to know what it was so I can avoid it in the future.

throwaway898908 2 days ago 9 replies      
Not putting solid food into your system for long periods of time (months, years) will destroy your ability to digest solid food when you start refeeding. I've seen people in eating disorder facilities who have lived on diets of liquid food (historically Ensure, basically the same thing) who have not defecated for months, and when they start eating again suffer for weeks and weeks from horrendous constipation, often requiring further hospitalization. This has happened to me.

Your ability to digest basically shuts down, your intestines stop moving what little solids there are through you.

Not eating solid food is not good for you. Don't do it.

dankohn1 1 day ago 5 replies      
Just a quick counterargument from a regular Soylent consumer: I drink a coffiest for breakfast every morning and drink two liquid Soylents on days when I don't have time for a nice lunch or dinner. It's convenient, healthy and tastes good. I've never had any intestinal troubles. I use it as a meal replacement, not a complete food replacement.

It sucks that they included this ingredient in their powder and bars that has caused people problems. But HN folks should know that doing startups is hard, and we all make mistakes along the way. Food is obviously a much more sensitive and important application than most mobile apps.

But I expect Soylent to figure out what went wrong, correct it, and keep iterating and improving.

jonathanjaeger 2 days ago 1 reply      
The latest version of Soylent powder is the best-tasting version to date and I get no uneasy feeling from it. The original powder versions I could more easily believe gastro issues, so I'm surprised this is cropping up now rather than before, but I guess it could be ingredient/allergy-specific.

I tend to eat 3000 calories to maintain my weight so Soylent is great for my busy schedule. I'm still eating 1500-2000 calories of regular food per day, which is certainly enough. I don't get why people keep harping on the all-or-nothing idea behind Soylent. Most people advocate this as part of a balanced diet.

Even if Soylent isn't perfect, I'd rather down something the FDA considers a food than an excess of weight gainers/protein bars/protein powder supplements filled with ingredients I don't want. That being said, I could throw oats, protein powder, peanut butter, milk, and a banana in a blender.. but that's not necessarily something I want to do consistently.

I also consider Soylent a bang for the buck when looking at things at price per 100 calories. Soylent 2.0 is far tastier, but I find it annoying that you have to get a ton of heavy bottles shipped to you and it's more expensive.

nether 2 days ago 2 replies      
Move fast and break things, including people's GI tracts. The fact that Soylent powder is at "version 1.6" and causing these problems points to gross version number inflation. This is a showstopper. Rob Rhinehart asserts that the human body is "just chemicals," yet a vat of elemental hydrogen, oxygen, carbon etc. would seem to behave a little differently from a human body composed of reproducing cells and structured organs. His CS background has made him consider the body a narrowly deterministic system that requires a minimum of sanity-check testing before releasing it upon the world. We're the beta testers here. Real world, physical systems have vast amounts of variability that techies don't seem to appreciate. I won't be surprised to see VC funds starting to require deep involvement of health professionals for companies in the diet/medical space, especially in light of Theranos and now this.
gerbilly 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fun fact: Do you know how vitamins got their name?

When the first scientists to study food tried reducing it to its basic components, they concluded that it contained: carbohydrates, fats, protein and minerals.

Then, based on this knowledge, they started to feed animals a mixture of these four macronutrients, but they wasted away.

Afterwards they began to discover the 'vitamins', so named because they were vital for life.

Today we know even more, and have discovered that we don't just eat to feed ourselves, but to feed our microbiome.

I can't imagine though that we've discovered everything that is necessary in food for humans to thrive, and we may never do so.

throwaway101416 1 day ago 2 replies      
I had hemorrhoids that would flair up from soy/almond milk or large quantities of corn chips. However, I never had blood loss and it was mostly gone by the time I tried Soylent.

After having one drink made with powder version 1.2 or 1.3, I lost about a liter of blood and couldn't move or work on anything that week. Had to switch to yogurt for a month to eat normally again. I think it has to do with jagged precipitates that remain after going through the large intestine.

I love the idea of the product, but unnatural food like this has potential to cause unforeseen side effects.

ag56 2 days ago 4 replies      
> Soylent said there shouldnt be any issues with its premade drinks, which cost slightly more than just the powder.

Interesting. I tried the premade drinks (Soylent 2.0) a couple of months ago and within an hour had stomach cramps and was forced to retreat to the bathroom.

Unlike a software bug it's mentally very hard to forgive -- I love the idea of Soylent but doubt I will ever try it again, in any form.

Serious question: why is it so hard for them to find the root cause of these issues? There are a limited number of ingredients, all of which are surely well documented and tested.

alphanumeric0 1 day ago 3 replies      
There is also the question of bioavailability, which applies to drug as well as vitamin intake.

Just because Soylent claims to give you all of these vitamins at once, that does not mean your body is actually adsorbing them all at once. You need a varied diet. You can't just eat one thing.


blondie9x 1 day ago 2 replies      
I unfortunately gave up Soylent when it was found to contain high levels of carcinogenic heavy metals. I believe they found it had 10-25x the minimum amount to be considered carcinogenic for arsenic, cadmium, and lead.

It's a good idea to make a product that could reduce meat consumption and food waste while helping the environment but maybe this isn't the best way? Maybe helping people and corporations better manage and track food would be a better alternative. Also all the new types of meat alternatives like new veggie burgers, such as those from beyond meat etc are looking really promising and we should support those efforts globally.

themodelplumber 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is it possible they are getting reports based on allergies? I once (cringe) alerted a local bakery to their tainted ingredients that were causing illness, only to discover years later that it was a food intolerance issue on my side. And--same symptoms as reported in this LA Times article.

I've also heard that if you eat a lot of something, you can develop an intolerance to it, but am not sure if that's really true, or under what circumstances.

IgorPartola 2 days ago 4 replies      
Is anyone really surprised that this is happening? Nutrition is hard. Nutritionists don't get it. Would you trust a nutritionist by trade to program your pacemaker? If not, then why do you trust an engineer to formulate your food?
nemo44x 2 days ago 8 replies      
A well cooked meal and wine - my greatest joys in life. Simple, romantic and fulfilling. Add butter. Add cream. A beautiful pan sauce from a well timed reduction. A cool glass of white wine in the hot kitchen as all the flavors come together. The scent of fresh cut shallots still lingering as the garlic in the pan sweats.

I don't judge anyone for making food and drink a footnote in their life. I enjoy cooking as much as eating but I don't expect anyone else to enjoy either of those, much less both. But I must admit, I sure don't understand the sacrifices of taste, scent, sight, texture and accomplishment for productivity or convenience.

Perhaps this is a reduction of the "Chicken McNugget"?

yladiz 2 days ago 2 replies      
> Our tests all came back negative for food pathogens, toxins or outside contamination, the company wrote.

If that's true, then it could be part of the formulation that causes a small percentage of people to get sick. Maybe it's akin to how cilantro causes some people to have a very alkaline taste when they eat it.

ericdykstra 1 day ago 2 replies      
I personally avoid "new" food and "meal replacements" in general, because they look like garbage in a bar/mix sold by a profit-seeking company with their own best interests at heart. The only difference between Soylent and Coca Cola or other junk food is that Soylent promises time/convenience, Coca Cola promises happiness, and most other junk food relies on appealing to its taste or popularity.

I'd be happy to be wrong if it turns out Soylent is the first manufactured food that ends up beating nature, but I would never bet my health on it.

musesum 2 days ago 1 reply      
Have gone through a few cases of Soylent 2.0 with no issues. I use to drink a few a week as a sporadic meal replacement. Now, I mix my own variation with casein protein and trehalose.

Intestinal flora tweak?

When I switched to a modified ketogenic diet, it took a few days to adjust. I now start the morning with coffee mixed with butter and caprylic acid (refined MCT oil).

Advice was: ease into it; too much, too soon, can lead to disaster pants.

[EDIT] switched order

LordHumungous 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm a big fan of Michael Pollan's manifesto: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. The idea being that processed foods cannot hope to match the nutritional profile found in whole foods, particularly plants. This soylent stuff is about as processed as food comes, so I'm inclined to be very skeptical of it's healthfulness.
antisthenes 2 days ago 3 replies      
I understand why people get Soylent, but I'm also wondering why people choose to trust a company to provide the powder for them instead of making it themselves.

Not only would that save you quite a bit of money (Soylent is a pretty poor value proposition if you need to consume more than 2000 calories), but you would then personally control the freshness of the ingredients.

There are so many recipes at diy.soylent.com/recipes and many of them are made from ingredients that combat the main problem of buying food at the supermarket - spoilage and waste, by letting you pre-mix months worth of food that doesn't go bad. And with the money saved compared to actual Soylent you can supplement with whatever fresh foods from time to time.

It's not like the nutritional profile of Soylent is hard to achieve - all you have to do is solve a system of equations for the necessary macros and vitamins.

ainiriand 1 day ago 0 replies      
Isn't the title a bit misleading? I mean, it is not the powder, it is only the bars. And is not like customers keep getting sick because of the powder, it is the case of some customers who got sick because of a bad ingredient in the bars... Opinions?
lando2319 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been on soylent for almost 2 years and I love it. It used to be such a pain working from home and dealing with breakfast, which I usually would skip and lunch which I would be reheating leftovers or whatever I could put together. It's so much better to just crack open a soylent, chug it and move on. It's always consistent I don't have to think about it. I do one 'normal food' meal a day, Mon - Fri.
tunesmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
I tried this off and on for over a year - huge supporter of the idea to have a basic "fallback" healthy meal option better than the kind of crap we might eat when we're low on ingredients.

But I had to stop. No matter what kind of soylent I had, even the liquid, I'd just get horrible indigestion from it - heartburn, even acid reflux. I read all the theories about "oh, you're just not used to the fiber" but I eat plenty of beans and psyllium husk and that's not it. Thought it was the oat protein, but the liquid uses more soy protein instead - no change. And no other foods seem to trigger that consistently for me. I stopped drinking it and the problem went away.

tommynicholas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Soylent absolutely doing the right thing, but I'll be upset if I can't get my Soylent as a result of this.
foobarextreme 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone who used to body build and experiment with different stacks and stuff being pushed at the "health" food store, it doesn't need an FDA pass to make you explode for every output channel. Once ate two chef jays bars and then a 4 pack of red line, it was an intense experience of extreme fluid projectiles from all corners.
samdung 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of our rules in our gym is 'Don't trust anyone that tries to sell you any powder.'

I always wondered why my fellow Hacker News readers went ballistic against Theranos but remained coy about Soylent. I guess we are just as much 'sheeple' as anyone else.

vesinisa 1 day ago 1 reply      
Maybe the rats finally got in: https://youtu.be/t8NCigh54jg?t=5m45s

Explanation: at least in 2013 they were producing the "food" in an abandoned old factory with disgustingly little care for hygiene. A TV crew caught on film a rat sneaking around in their "production facility".

neilsharma 1 day ago 1 reply      
I always have a bottle of soylent in my backpack for emergencies, or if I'm in SF for half a day and don't want to waste $10 on a sandwich I can finish in 3 bites.

That said, I'm not a big fan of its macros. I don't really care about following food pyramid guidelines and would prefer something with less sugar, fewer starches, and a different oil blend. I make "life-changing bread" [0] on occasion, and its basically my all-natural soylent alternative (I substitute out most of the oats for more seeds + bran and add protein powder). It doesn't taste great, but that's not the point here.

Was looking into getting the powder when my current batch of drinks finish, but I suppose I'll revisit this decision after soylent addresses these issues.

Still not sure if soylent actually replaces meals -- I end up chugging a bottle and then buying food most of the time. 400kcals makes for a nice snack, but simply isn't enough food to replace a meal.

[0] https://www.google.com/search?q=lifechanging+bread&oq=lifech...

pmyjavec 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Meant to be mixed with water or other liquids, the powder has enough fats, carbohydrates and other nutrients to replace a traditional meal, according to the company. People looking for a quick fix, such as software programmers in Silicon Valley, have become devotees."

This is one of the saddest things I've read in a long time, I'm not sure if people actually do this but it sounds really sad. If you don't have energy to prepare some food, or find a healthy meal, you're burned out, broke or just lazy, probably burned out. I know this because I've been there.

I've read from multiple sources that ~45 million Americans go hungry [1], there is no reason to believe Silicon Valley is exempt from these figures. Are people just substituting Soylent for real meals because they can't afford proper food?

America sounds like a really lousy place lately and for the most part, the tech industry doesn't sound like it's helping.

1. http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/impact-of-hu...

gaoshan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been drinking the pre-made drink (2.0) for about 6 months now. I use it for a quick breakfast (3 or 4 days a week) that I can have during my commute. Never had any issues, tastes great and saves me time in the morning. Not the powder, I know, but I want to chip in with my experience using the bottled liquid.
todd8 1 day ago 0 replies      
Soylent isn't the only product available to easily replace meals. Besides the products marketed to bodybuilders and those wanting to lose weight there are meal replacement products from serious pharmaceutical companies. They are readily available; Abbot Laboratories meal replacement drinks, in several varieties, are stocked in my local supermarkets.

Abbot Laboratories ($20 Billon in revenue per year, 74,000 employees) has a large list of products, including powered versions, listed on its web site. See http://abbottnutrition.com/brands/products/nutritional-produ...

thejacenxpress 1 day ago 1 reply      
LA Times did a bad job of reporting this.

> warning that a handful of customers reported stomach sickness after consuming it.

It's actually less than 0.1%

The blog article is clearer: http://blog.soylent.com/post/152400464282/soylent-bar-powder...

nsxwolf 1 day ago 1 reply      
I ate bad chicken once and it made me really sick. Once!

Here's a product that one should be skeptical of from the get go - it needs to prove itself as being "real food", and now it's made multiple people sick.

It's like Chipotle, but I think worse.

Doesn't help they named it after a horrifying product from a dystopian science fiction movie either.

victorhooi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I found Soylent incredibly useful recently when I went through a bout of gastro.

It was easy to keep down, and this way I knew I was at least getting some nutrients in.

I don't use Soylent as a day-to-day meal. I use it when I am rushing around, and the alternative is McDonalds. The way I see it.

1. It's a fixed 500 calorie intake2. It's reasonably balanced nutritionally3. It doesn't have useless junk I don't need (extra oil/fat, preservatives, extra sugar/flavouring etc.).

A lot of people seem to say, oh, but what if you miss XYZ nutrient, or, what if there is this other secret nutrient in fresh food you don't have.

My question to you is - do you think KFC or McDonalds would have these secret nutrients? Or that the fried-chicken and chips meal you get at the local takeout, or the oily chinese takeout you buy on lazy nights if somehow better for you?

If the alternative is other sorts of so-called fast foods - then yeah, I'm going to take the Soylent.

Also, people talk about how preparing wholesome, healthy fresh food takes no time...bollocks.

When you have a one-year old in your hands crying, you're rushing to pack her bags for daycare, you have another scamp running around chasing the cat (whom you still need to feed, by the way) - the last think you want to do is warm up the stove, cut some veggies, and make up a stir-fry. You want to shove two scoops of powder, shake it with some water and glug it down.

Not to mention shopping for groceries.

Yes, I love cooking - but I'd like to do it as a enjoyable thing, when I have time/energy. Not something I need to do, even when I'm exhausted, because the alternative is starving, or greasy takeout.

AimHere 1 day ago 3 replies      
Well actual food value was only a secondary feature of Soylent's product anyways, as witnessed by customers still happily supporting a food company that makes tasteless gunk that makes people ill.

The primary selling point was that it allowed the customers to pretend (at least to themselves, if not to anyone else) that they were too busy even to eat food. If you're THAT busy, you must be an important, happening guy, or gal, right?

It's one fun facet of the bizarre, upside-down culture in certain parts of the developed world, where work, followed by perhaps housing, are people's primary status symbols. The 21st century really needs an update of 'Theory of the Leisure Class'.

da23a 1 day ago 0 replies      
I take ADHD medication and as a side-effect, my appetite is suppressed for most of the day (I can eat supper but I am physically incapable of eating lunch)

Soylent has been a lifesaver

ykm 2 days ago 2 replies      
Halt production? It seems these soylent formulations are versioned. So can't they revert back to an older version till they fix the issue? Or its not as simple as this?
middleclick 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shouldn't they be offering a refund option? Just saying "stop eating it and let us know" doesn't inspire much confidence.
pizza 2 days ago 1 reply      
What %? What % of people normally get sick from food?

Just curious, not defensive..

mike_ivanov 1 day ago 1 reply      
My impression was that the Soylent products are based on certain assumptions: 1) every human body is about the same, differences don't matter 2) a human body doesn't change much during its lifetime and 3) it's only the average that matters in nutrition, within-diet variance doesn't matter at all.

Is that correct? If so, aren't those assumptions.. uhmm.. sort of delusional?

knodi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love Soylent 2.0 I have it for breakfast everyday for a last 4 months. Haven't had a single issue.
cyphar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only person who is more than a little freaked out by the name choice for Soylent? Sure, I get the nerdy reference but the main point of the movie is that the products Soylent made are made from people. Why someone would name a company after that is beyond me, not to mention that the founder appears to have a cult-leader-vibe.


Mikho 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lately growth hackers and marketers for some reason consider themself tech companies and disruptors while what they do is just repackage old things that were out there for decades into attractive offering for millennials.

Soylent is a mere marketing company having not real innovation on the product side, not to mention questionable ingredients quality.

athenot 1 day ago 1 reply      
I understand the time-saving aspect of this product. I understand that one's schedule can be so intense that taking the time to cook & eat is impossible, though I posit that the mental down-time offered by meals is beneficial to better process what we're thinking about throughout the day (disclaimer1: I can't back this up with data as I only have anectodal evidence).

But the real issue I have is diet monotony. We live in an era of convenience and have forgotten about how fruits and vegetables yield their harvest in seasons. When most fruits/vegetables are in season, you might eat volumes of them, then never eat any for the rest of the year. Some indeed can be kept for a few weeks/months.

The same is true with meats: larger animals would be consumed on a less frequent basis than smaller ones.

Disclaimer2: I'm not a nutritionist, I just enjoy traditional foods.

hasenj 2 days ago 1 reply      
Might it be soy allergy?

I honestly see no reason to halt production entirely just because a small percentage of people are having allergic reaction.

Can they not just add an allergy warning?

shas3 2 days ago 2 replies      
I suffered very unpleasant nausea after eating bars from a particular shipment of Soylent food bars. Soylent is now forever (or at least in the near future) associated for me with those bouts of nausea. That's the unfortunate thing about nausea, one episode related to a particular food can ruin that food forever for you.
415Kathleem 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone else think that Soylent in and of itself is kind of ridiculous? I mean, I'm sorry that people are getting sick, and I'm thankful no one has gotten gravely ill- but come ON. You're seriously too busy to eat your meals now? The only people who would truly be too busy to eat are not the people who work in tech. And I say this as someone who works in tech. The people who would actually need Soylent couldn't afford it. /End rant
keerthiko 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a lot of anti-soylent in this thread, purporting it as a "holier-than-thou" attitude by tech-bros who are too good to eat "normal food". How ironic.

Everyone here has had moments where they need to eat something because they're hungry, but are in the middle of something, a team meeting, in the zone fixing a bug, or just up late at night. The standard solutions are to either be distracted by hunger and keep working, or go eat something junk-like real fast, or prepare super well in advance a series of healthy snacks meant for times like this.

Well, not everyone prioritizes organizing emergency meals, or enjoys cooking, or wants to spend time on it. But they still value eating something cost-effective, and at least moderately healthy. For all the people whose default choice is ordering pizza or ringing up Postmates for some junk food, Soylent (while not making people sick) is several orders of magnitude better in terms of cost, convenience AND nutrition.

What's wrong with that? Why would you diss that choice so much? Surely you can't believe ordering a Domino's cheese pizza is better than consuming a bottle of Soylent? If your only suggestion is "they should learn to cook/mix their own/pay attention to food" you're missing the point and refusing to empathize. Different people have different priorities and inclinations, and it makes sense for products to be marketed for some set of those without demanding behaviour change.

yanjuk 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would guess the nausea is a learned response due to people forcing the powder on themselves. Perhaps it needs to be introduced gradually with small amounts?
intrasight 1 day ago 0 replies      
I get why some people want to "let someone else decide what I eat" - life has too many decisions already after all. But I've gone the smoothy route, where I have the main ingredients of Soylent but with the added benefit of fresh fruit and veggies. I have one or two smoothies each day, so it's at least half of my caloric intake.

However, this time of year I just love the fresh vegetables available at the farmers market at great prices. Some go into smoothies but most I bake or stirfry. I eat with rice or beans and that's my dinner most every day.

givinguflac 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bummer to see this happen, but good on them for taking action. I've been using the premixed liquid bottles for over a year now and love it.
skankhunt42 1 day ago 0 replies      
...no "Soylent makes you soil yourself" joke yet?

Maybe it's actually made from something else than what's written on the label, ya know, just as in the cult classic they probably got the name from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green ;)

Apreche 2 days ago 1 reply      
How come the FDA hasn't taken any action against them?
kartD 2 days ago 1 reply      
Still waiting for the facts, but I'm pleasantly surprised and impressed by Soylent's response. I think they're doing the right thing.
deepGem 2 days ago 4 replies      
Man, this is a bummer. As much as I hate the concept of Soylent as food, I see it as the only way to scale food production for the growing population, without killing our planet. The other options are still in the labs. Artificial tissues for instance. Vertical farming is one alternative, but that is again fraught with massive energy consumption. I hope Soylent gets to solve this.
heheocoenev 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just started on 1.6 2 weeks ago and enjoying the freedom of this, as well as the ability to control my intake.

I need a vegan alternative.

rubyfan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anyone know where one could find the symptoms/issues people are reporting?
tudorw 1 day ago 2 replies      
chewing is what stimulates the bile gland, bile is what you need to help with toxins removal, you need to chew, no short cut!



010a 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was really sad to see the new bars get pulled. Hopefully they get the issues sorted out and get those back on the market; I'll happily be the first to renew my subscription plan.
GunlogAlm 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wonder if this applies to Huel (https://huel.com), essentially the British version of Soylent.
owly 1 day ago 0 replies      
Please please go bankrupt and disappear. Soylent's whole concept is against reality, social eating and a whole food diet.
SCAQTony 1 day ago 1 reply      
Scientifically, will 'Soylent' ever be as good as milk, yogurt, fruit or soup? I don't think so.
7yagi 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Inability to accept limitations of your intellect.
nemo44x 1 day ago 0 replies      
Soylent is to food as Theranos is to blood tests. A place the Valley Way has no business in.
jlebrech 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe the RDAs of certain nutrients are different from person to person.
piyushpr134 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like a e-coli contamination!
GarrisonPrime 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well shit. I'm almost out and was about to order a new batch. :(
Mc_Big_G 1 day ago 0 replies      
Too bad you can't short startups.
ivv 1 day ago 0 replies      
Could one think of Soylent as a baby formula for adults?
justinzollars 1 day ago 0 replies      
Soylent is a weird cult.
draw_down 1 day ago 0 replies      
Food -- who needs it! But don't take away my Esc key.
facorreia 1 day ago 0 replies      
The got some very trusting guinea pigs, I'll give them that.
debt 1 day ago 0 replies      
i like that soylent is attempting to hack nutrition itself. i think something like soylent could have a huge image on global public health.

hopefully they can figure this out.

enjoyitasus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had some the other day!!!
soyiuz 2 days ago 2 replies      
The name "soylent" comes from Soylent Green, a 1973 sci fi film about overpopulation, where people survive by eating mass-produced plankton, which later turns out to be made out of old people.

Naming a product "soylent" has always struck me as borderline sociopath. In this light, the companys slogan "healthy, convenient, affordable food" is an outright mockery of its costumers.

muppetcore12 1 day ago 1 reply      
md2be 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'd bet 90% of coders are within 10 minutes of a whole Foods and btw you might actually find a date there and not the kind that grows on trees.
booleanbetrayal 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Soylent: Only the finest, bulk-rate Chinese "proteins and lipids" VC money can buy!"
eva1984 1 day ago 0 replies      
Disrupt at its finest.
cerved 1 day ago 0 replies      
matthewhall 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because Soylent is PEOPLE!
zxcvvcxz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Coming from the weightlifting world, I saw this as exactly what it is: re-packaged "mass gainer" with some vitamin, flavor, and ingredient tweaks. So revolutionary...

Yeah, a bunch of nerds trying to live off of what is essentially mass gainer/meal replacement - who probably don't even exercise - will probably get sick. Especially when the makers try so hard to be "differentiated" and mess around with the formula.

Y'all fell for this.

ommunist 1 day ago 0 replies      
The idea behind this powder is uberidiotic, because we receive most of nutrients from our intestine microflora, and not from food per se. Diet like this destroys microflora, and here it is - diarrhea! But microfloras are unique to their bearers, there are some general types, of course. You cannot standardize food and not harm your microflora at the same time. So on place of Soylent, I'd run tests on volunteers for microflora replacement first, and then feed them powder. Could be like that: Stage one - 3 days on amoxiclav, 3 days fasting and water. This is cleaning fase. You will be sick, and have diarrhea. Stage 2 - 2 weeks on growing Soylent-compatible microflora, something like genetically modified bifiform. Stage3 - You became happy Soylent eater. But remember - from this time further any normal food except Soylent will make you sick.
senthilnayagam 1 day ago 0 replies      
suddenly Soylent starts sounding like Theranos
robertcorey 1 day ago 0 replies      
They should pivot to poisoning as a service.
LunaSea 1 day ago 0 replies      
I see that the race for the next Darwin award is tight this year!
frrp 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you don't have the time to eat properly, the best choice is not to eat.
rjurney 1 day ago 3 replies      
Soylent is a bad idea. Your body needs unidentified parts of plants that make you live a decade or more longer if you eat them every day, called phytonutrients. You're just killing yourself by eating shit, may as well eat fast food it has as many nutrients. Fuck soylent, eat a mcburger. Tastes better, same effect.
nickbauman 1 day ago 0 replies      
We understand so little about nutrition. Yet the same people that code for a living also run around saying "don't roll your own crypto" are the people replacing their diets with things like Soylent. It's madness.
botexpert 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ate about 50 bars and 10kg of Soylent, didn't feel a thing.

Five of my family members ate some amount too, and seemed fine.

How are they sure people aren't misattributing this to something else, or just being nocebo about it after the first news reports came?

I did have diarrhea a couple of times during last 5 months but why should I attribute it to Soylent?

edit: downvoters, if you have any information I don't know, please reply so I don't look like an idiot.

dmalvarado 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really wish they didn't name their company 'Soylent'. Soylent Green was a gross concept for a movie, and, unrelated, I really can't stand the sound of the word.
Music Theory: An Education from First Principles lightnote.co
942 points by akalin  4 days ago   147 comments top 32
anton_tarasenko 4 days ago 2 replies      
A similar project: https://www.teoria.com/en/tutorials/

Focused more on practitioners. Includes exercises with MIDI/USB piano keyboards in the browser: https://www.teoria.com/en/exercises/

These resources also can be useful:

1. https://www.musictheory.net/lessons (exercises included)

2. http://www.earbeater.com/online-ear-training (ear training exercises)

3. https://www.iwasdoingallright.com/tools/ear_training/online/ (ear training)

4. https://trainer.thetamusic.com/

5. http://music.stackexchange.com/

N. Wikipedia is a good reference. E.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_musical_terminolog...

If someone wants to try music, start with playing an instrument and then pick the theory. If in physics theory says how the world works, music theory is mostly about labeling things that sound good vs noise. And it's hard to get the words without playing first.

zodiac 4 days ago 6 replies      
I like this! I've always wanted to build a music theory textbook (like Laitz) where the examples could be played.

> When a song says that it is in the key of C Major, or D Minor, or A Harmonic, etc. this is simply telling you which of the 12 notes are used in this song.

Small nitpick, this is not accurate, C Major and A (natural) Minor have the same notes but different starting notes so they are different scales, and pieces written in them sound different from each other. It's one of those things that's slightly hard to explain if you don't sing/compose/play an instrument/read music but very obvious if you do.

nspeller 4 days ago 20 replies      
This is actually my side project. It's very much unfinished but if anyone has any feedback I'd love to hear it.
robbrown451 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is excellent. The graphics and sounds are nicely done.

One thing that I don't see in it, but that I find fascinating, is that in western music each half step represents a ratio of the twelfth-root of two, in terms of frequency. That way 12 half steps (an octave) will double the frequency.

Certain notes within this are close, but not exactly, on a "simple ratio". It's just coincidental that it works out pretty good. (although you could make it work out just as good with something other than a 12 step scale....a 19-step scale has been used: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/19_equal_temperament )

Anyway, I think that would fit in well with what you've done so far, but obviously, explained in the nice simple graphics that you seem very good at.

I also must say I love the way you use color, I have a music project of my own (that I'm hoping to debut very soon) that also uses color in a very similar way. Did you know that Isaac Newton fixated on 7 colors (ROYGBIV) because he thought there was a connection between the diatonic scale and colors? That's why indigo seems to have been promoted from some obscure color to one of the "basic" colors of the rainbow. (I prefer BOYGBPP, red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple-pink)

hkailahi 4 days ago 0 replies      
Nice. I've been thinking a lot about writing a interactive blog series of something similar (music fundamentals for CS people). It'll probably be a while before I start writing that though.

I think the biggest thing that's missing at the moment is a section on rhythm/time. I'm sure you have plans for that. Looking forward to seeing finished course.

baddox 4 days ago 1 reply      
I wish this was even more "from first principles." I wish the "harmony" section would point out that the "simple ratios" they initially show both have powers of two in their denominators, and thus are just octave adjustments of the harmonic series. I wish the "chords" section would derive the major triad as the fundamental frequency combined with the first two (non-octave) frequencies in the harmonic series octave-adjusted down to be close to the fundamental.
kroger 4 days ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug: I wrote a book a couple years ago that people in this thread may find interesting: "Music for Geeks and Nerds". It's a short book that uses Python to teach music concepts:


akalin 4 days ago 0 replies      
I found this to be a way better resource than the "Music theory for nerds" article floating around a while ago.
quadrangle 4 days ago 3 replies      
There's not a smidgen of principle in the jump from harmonic ratios to tempered tuning and standard scales and chords.

True first-principles music theory must (A) focus primarily on psychology over physics (B) not tell people that complex ratios sound bad but simply help people notice that they are different from simple ratios (C) actually go through the full logic of how the tempered system is derived from chains of harmonic ratios adjusted to temper out commas. The easiest approach to the latter is to simply teach diatonic scales as harmonic ratios and not introduce temperament at all until much later.

Far far far from perfect but having the direction that this attempt is missing: http://www.tallkite.com/AlternativeTunings.html

Anyway, I'd write the ultimate thing if I ever found the time. There's at least some good elements to this attempt so far. It really needs to be licensed CC-BY-SA though so that people can adapt and contribute and improve to get it to where it's really good.

zump 4 days ago 8 replies      
Software engineer here. Finding my creativity is drying up.. Whats the fastest/easiest way to learn a musical instrument at the highest possible level?
analog31 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm kind of late to the game in this thread, but my thought about theory is that it should start with physiology and technology. At each level we're reminded that we study the aspects of music that people have already invented, and that we may overlook a lot of important things, such as rhythm.

Physiology: Some of this may be speculative, but it seems likely that "harmonious" intervals, that have a superposition of harmonics, have a physiological effect.

Technology: The 12 tone scale could be described as a technology for tuning an instrument with harmonious intervals. Temperament is a technology for solving the problems of tuning primarily keyboard instruments.

Naturally, math is involved in understanding these things, as with many areas of science and technology.

I would talk about a handful of widely used instruments, such as keyboards, strings, winds, guitars, and drums.

Then you can begin to talk about scales, chords, melody, form, and so forth.

xchip 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is absolutely fantastic. I have seen many musicists trying to explaing this with not much success, mainly because they dont understand the physics behind.

You explanation makes perfect sense and it is so clear and so well that once you read it you can remember it forever.


PeterWhittaker 4 days ago 0 replies      
Well done! It summarizes a lot of theory it took me months to puzzle out on my own.

One nit: At the top of each section there is a section title, at the bottom of each section, there is a "Next section" title, a description, and a next section button, and on the side there is a list of sections. Some of the titles are inconsistent from list to top of current and from bottom of current to top of next. It's a little confusing right now, and there are only a few sections; when there are more, it will be far more confusing. I don't have a suggestion as to how fix it, just pointing out the confusing inconsistency.

tempestn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great idea! Just FYI I'm noticing a fair bit of static when playing the various tones. It's mostly at the beginning, which makes me think it's just due to the discontinuity at the beginning (maybe start the volume at zero and quickly increase?) But I'm getting blips of static in the middle of most tones as well, so there must be something else going on. Tried both Chrome and Firefox. I suppose this could be an artifact from my onboard sound card or something like that, but I haven't noticed anything similar elsewhere.
fiatjaf 4 days ago 1 reply      
This is nice, very nice. But it is quite disappointing that at least for everybody reading HN the whole "Music Theory" topic seems to be just a few concepts that can be learned in 1 or 2 hours.
smackfu 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm good on music theory right up to time signatures. It seems like black magic to me, and often it is taught by just asking you to hear the beats and I just don't hear them.
anon4711 3 days ago 0 replies      
With Safari entirely unable to handle this page, I really feel like I'm missing out on the modern web with it for the first time.
kmm 3 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting, but too bad it's not much more than the basics. I struggle to find a good explanation of how harmony works, i.e. what they mean by the terms "resolution" or how chords are made, in short: how a musical piece is built.

My piano teacher's refusal to explain these to me is one of the reasons I lost interest in the instrument

WhitneyLand 4 days ago 0 replies      
Love this, it's the way i would want to learn.
aridiculous 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is the perfect minimalist introduction to music theory. A similarly good explanation is in Daniel Levitin's "This is Your Brain on Music". It's first few chapters explain music theory to beginners in a really elegant way.

I previously thought music was composed without any rules.

whitten 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know of a music theory class that works with GNU Lilypond format files, as discussed on lilypondblog.org ?Thanks in advance !
Grue3 3 days ago 1 reply      
> The Major Chord is the most common chord. Whenever you're asked to play a chord without specifying what type, then it's a Major chord.

Certainly not in modern pop music. By far the most common chord is power chord.

RickS 4 days ago 0 replies      
This is great! I found the more robust examples really useful, like the ones that show notes and triads in a key. I'd love to have something like this in the form of a VST or something usable in Ableton.
dejv 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you are more into mechanical practice of notes reading I had created http://notationtraining.com
em3rgent0rdr 3 days ago 3 replies      
I disagree with the equivocation of "sound good" with consonant notes and "sound bad" with dissonant notes.
codeulike 4 days ago 1 reply      
So why do notes sound good together when the frequency ratios are simple? Needs a section on the inner ear, stereocilia, and how overtones affect them.
danenania 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic! Looking forward to the next one.

Can anyone suggest good resources in this vein that apply these basic principles to guitar?

dmritard96 4 days ago 1 reply      
this is great but I there was recently an article that made the rounds on HN pointing out that what sounds 'Nice' to people not exposed to western music is very different from what sounds 'Nice' to westerners. This is a great site and people can learn a ton but its very western centric and it might be worth pointing that out early on.
bcheung 4 days ago 0 replies      
Love it. Thanks for sharing. Wish I had this when I had some music theory classes back in college.
Pulce 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ctrl-- in firefox 45 to see Subscribe button.Apart this, thanks :)
ticktockten 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks! Really enjoyed the tutorial
bmay 4 days ago 1 reply      
FYI sound does not play in Firefox
White House urges ban on non-compete agreements for many workers reuters.com
667 points by petethomas  4 days ago   409 comments top 31
tristor 3 days ago 20 replies      
I don't understand why there's so many people in the comments defending non-competes. They have literally no value to society, or to individual employees. They are a tool of restrictive coercion to stifle an employees freedom of movement in the job market.

Trade secrets, IP, secret sauce: covered by NDA and IP assignment agreements

Client lists, contract terms, sales strategies, reported metrics, financials: covered by NDA and in some cases SEC regulations about insider trading.


The only thing a non-compete does is say that Employee A cannot work in their chosen field for some period of time after they are fired or quit. In doing so it offers no consideration or compensation typically in the contract.

So your employer underpays you by 40% and treats you badly? You want to leave for greener pastures at that hip new startup that offered you a Senior Engineer gig? Well, sorry to say you have a mortgage, a wife, and 2 kids and that non-compete says you are only legally allowed to be a burger flipper for two years after quitting, that software engineering is verboten.

Totally fair right?

If you don't sit on the board of a Fortune 500 company, you have literally no incentive to support non-competes. There is no rational basis to argue in their favor. Please learn the difference between NDAs, IP assignment agreements, and non-competes before lending non-competes some mystical powers they don't have.

Animats 3 days ago 6 replies      
Note that this is being proposed as something states should do. Federal legislation is not being proposed. Worst case would be Federal legislation which was weak and pre-empted state legislation, weakening California's ban.

California employment law prohibits non-compete agreements for employees, and has since 1872. California also prohibits any employee agreement which claims employer ownership of intellectual property developed on the employee's own time.[1] This is one reason Silicon Valley is so successful.

[1] http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=lab&gr...

drawkbox 3 days ago 4 replies      
Non-competes, the most anti-innovation, anti-skilled worker, anti-free market, anti-business and anti-American thing in working today. Non-competes are protectionism for larger businesses over small/medium businesses.

As a freelancer, contractor and self-employed business owner/worker, please make these illegal, tired of these.

The worst part about non-competes is they are blanket protectionism usually and up to 2+ years of non-compete, this sometimes happens on a job that is only 1-3 months. You have to laugh at those types of situations. Usually the client will push them aside or lower the time to the job plus some time, but both non-competes and arbitration agreements are horrible for workers in today's economy where people change jobs frequently and many are self-employed/freelancing/contracting.

The non-compete should not exist, at the core removing competition from skilled workers in our economy is bad all around, unless you are one of the current big fish.

neogodless 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure if you came here for anecdotes, but my very first full time web developer position had a non-compete clause. After 2.5 years, I moved to a new company about 15 miles away for a roughly 20% raise. Some time into this job, I ended up doing some work for a client that had left my previous employer. I reached out to the previous employer because I needed something changed on the server (they still managed hosting) - this tipped them off that I was (gasp) doing work for one of their previous clients. They ended up attempting to sue me and my new employer based on the non-compete! We went to a disposition, but then the lawyers huddled, and the end result was that the non-compete was reduced from 5 Years (!!) to just 1 year, and that we agreed I wouldn't do work on that specific client for the duration. Otherwise, there was no penalty or fallout. I consider it a big dramatic show with no benefit to the previous employer; they stomped their feet and pouted, the end.

Depending on the phrasing of the non-compete, I tend to cross that section out, initial them, and then include a note when I submit them to my employer. Most are fine with that change.

dmourati 3 days ago 2 replies      
Massachusetts has realized that its current legislation allowing for non-competes sniffles innovation.



bahularora 3 days ago 1 reply      
Today, after completing almost a month of my trial at a new job, HR asked me to sign a document on Stamp paper with a very vague 1 year non-compete clause. All my objections to the same were casually shrugged of by her, by saying they don't use it until I would directly hurt the revenue of the employer.

When I refused to sign it she said that it might be hard to offer me a job in the case I don't sign it. Which very much sounded like a threat to me. If they insist I would most probably sign it, as without the salary I wouldn't be able to afford rent next month. According to her all the other employees have signed it and none questioned her on it.

Notably non-competes are mostly illegal in India, still almost all agreements I have come across have the clause mentioned in them. I don't understand the point in having a clause like this, when its non-enforceable.

Many other points of the agreement were as egregious as the non-compete clause. Also the whole agreement was extremely one sided. It also said all the IP/Products/patents I develop, even in my own time, during my tenure would belong by the employer.

aikah 3 days ago 2 replies      
I don't understand how these clauses are even legal at first place. It violates the basic right of freedom of work. You can't have on one end freedom of enterprise but on the other hand no freedom of work for employees. the worst thing is the fact that these agreements usually come with 0 compensation.
throw_away_777 3 days ago 3 replies      
Why can't congress do something about this? Non-competes are clearly terrible for workers, and should at the least be illegal without a severance agreement. If a company wants to keep me from working they should pay for the privilege. Workers also need to start refusing to sign egregiously bad non-compete agreements.
dsr_ 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm perfectly OK with a non-compete agreement... as long as it pays me for my downtime.

You think the information in my head is so valuable that you don't want me working for a competitor for three years after I leave? OK, pay me for three years.

It's not worth that much to you? Well, how much is it worth?

ad_a 3 days ago 1 reply      
There's a coffee shop in our town that makes barristas sign a non-compete i.e. no working at other coffee shops in town. This is beyond mind-blowingly stupid.
laichzeit0 3 days ago 2 replies      
I just signed one of these ridiculous clauses because pretty much everyone is just slapping this into their contracts now.

Law needs to catch up on this one and fast. I like the idea of making non-compete enforceable only if you can prove malicious intent. Similar to how tax works. If onus is on the tax payer to prove that if you buy something and sell it at profit you must prove that the _intention_ was not to turn a profit if you want to pay capital gains tax and not income tax on the profit.

Except the burden on proof must be skewed in favor of the employee and the proof of intent needs to sit with the employer if they want to enforce. E.g. If I go to market and get an offer (say at some competitor), you have first right of refusal to give me a counter. If you refuse to counter you cannot enforce your non-compete. This is fair imho. Lots of problems regarding "trade secrets" etc. but the law should be highly weighted towards the idea of "innocent by until proven guilty" for the employee.

losteverything 3 days ago 0 replies      
It is now standard for unskilled workers too as it is included in most job application / offers.

A $12 / hr. part time Walmart worker can not work at another retailer or online company or Amazon warehouse. The scope is defined by the company.

It is used as a threat.

Besides, if someone wants to steal company secrets they will regardless of a signed paper.

In the '80s worked with a Chinese C/unix contractor that ported all code to China. It was comm type work. No NDA would prevent a criminal.

joshAg 3 days ago 1 reply      
simple solution: all workers must be paid full salary and benefits for the entire term of the non-compete agreement.
Steeeve 3 days ago 3 replies      
I've heard of two or three people in my lifetime that had a company try to enforce a non-compete. Two were during a Microsoft/Google fight, and one was in the late 60s with a scientist.

Has anybody around here been sued after leaving a company due to a non-compete clause?

hammock 3 days ago 3 replies      
This comes one week after - and in contrast to - Donald Trump promising in his first 100 days in office a five-year ban on White House officials and Congressman from becoming lobbyists, and a lifetime ban on White House lobbyists from lobbying on behalf of foreign governments.


hak8or 3 days ago 2 replies      
This seems to explicitly not include workers who are privvy to trade secrets based on a quick skim, so I guess all of us tech workers wouldn't have anything changed sadly.
Arcaten 3 days ago 0 replies      
What is most surprising to me about these stories today is how uncommon NDAs are. I read somewhere that 20% of workers in the US have signed one.

I don't know if this is a common experience, but my employer recently began putting NDAs in place and, in retrospect, I feel they took advantage of the ignorance of most of the employees (including me). They insisted that the NDA was "standard," managers told us that there was no room for negotiation and pushed to have us sign immediately (eventually relented to having it signed by end of the following day).

solotronics 3 days ago 1 reply      
IANAL but my understanding is that non-competes are essentially unenforceable in Texas.
gok 3 days ago 1 reply      
Great! ...as long as this doesn't just mean nonsensically narrow rules like the new Illinois law, which only applies to low wage workers (< $13/hour).
didgeoridoo 3 days ago 0 replies      
A ban seems heavy-handed. Since a noncompete essentially ties up an employee for a period, I'd prefer to see that tie-up treated by law as a continuation of employment at the existing salary. Surely companies must value their precious IP more than a single employee's salary for a year or two and if they don't, perhaps it isn't that valuable after all.
dustinmr 3 days ago 0 replies      
This seems to miss how companies will react if enacted. If there's a freer flow on the talent side, corporations will want a freer flow as well. I would expect this to accelerate the current trend of converting more and more positions to contract or temporary positions rather than employment.

I think that's a good thing.

I'm not sure the White House would agree.

dominotw 3 days ago 1 reply      
Ban-ing things is like writing explanatory code comments instead of working out why that code was confusing/hacky in the first place.

Unfortunately, people would rather welcome big brother govt into their lives than work on fixing the real problem.

npezolano 3 days ago 0 replies      
California is one of the few states that doesn't honor out of state non-competes.
tjpnz 3 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone know how these work in practice in Japan? The constitution here guarantees the right to work where you want yet I've witnessed people being asked to sign them upon leaving a job.
omouse 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thank the lord, non-competes are a criminal waste of productivity.
smokedoutraider 3 days ago 2 replies      
While I don't agree with non-competes, I don't understand how it's even slightly ok to allow a government to decide private business policies.
flukus 3 days ago 0 replies      
> The Obama administration on Tuesday also urged states to ban non-compete agreements that are not proposed before a job offer or promotion is accepted and said employers should not be able to enforce the agreements when workers are laid off.

Won't this just move the non-compete to be included in the job offer instead of the formal employment contract? That's a slight improvement at best.

squozzer 3 days ago 0 replies      
If this gets any traction, I might consider giving BHO a C+ grade for his administration.
shadowban_me 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like how anyone even mentioning IP is downvoted to hell. It really shows you what market Ycombinator is really in. Every single comment is either someone's personal narrative, or a ridiculous troll where "OMG WHY" is the only thing they say in each sentence. Wow, I wonder how this ever became law when YCombinator commentators are so opposed to it?
DominikR 3 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder what a principled position on this matter would be.

On one hand everyone is free to trade freedoms for gains (usually monetary - every contract restricts both parties freedom), but on the other hand you can't trade certain freedoms away that we view as fundamental.

Even though I am certainly no proponent of non-compete agreements I cautiously tend towards viewing such contracts as acceptable and valid.

You usually do limit selling your services already the moment you accept a position as an employee, at least for the time you stay employed there. Contractually expanding it for a mutually agreed upon period doesn't strike me as that much different, at least as long as there was no coercion involved and both sides fully understood the consequences.

losteverything 3 days ago 2 replies      
Tragic story of a business. You decide if it was stolen. Happened a few years ago to a client friend.

Husband wife owns a florist. Has for decades in a county fourth highes per capita income in us.

Built a nice life but it was time to retire and sell the business.

They did not own their building.

New landlord buys building ( shop in nice main street area.) raises rent to outrageous amount. Too much to run the business.

Husband wife team can't sell florist before New lease starts and they do not sign lease.

The very Next week !!!! Next week - building owner puts up new sign for a new florist.

The owners lost everything. They owned some things like coolers - and got $$ for those.

Total Nightmare: USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 fosketts.net
650 points by sfoskett  12 hours ago   355 comments top 54
jws 11 hours ago 9 replies      
We will survive this. We survived having RJ45 jacks (which I just learned are not really RJ45 jacks, but 8P8C connectors) in walls. Is it a phone, a token ring, or an Ethernet? Cat 3, Cat 5, Cat 6? Did the installer unwrap the pairs too far? Are there crossed pairs? Does it have two pair or four (in days of old it was common to make single Cat 5 wire serve two devices since they only used two pairs)? Does it have a DC voltage supplied between some of the pairs? What voltage, what current capacity, which polarity, which pairs? What speed is the ethernet switch port? Maybe it is a VGA extender or an HDMI extender. Maybe it is a serial console. I had an office where one RJ45 went to an FM antenna above the steel roof, you really are not supposed to do that. (I have installed or used all of these conditions except for token ring.)

USB has already had this problem for 16 years. When they went from USB 1.0 at 11mbps to USB 2.0 at 480mpbs they had to change the shielding. The only visible change on the connectors was a tiny + sign in the three branched USB tree molded on the end of the cable, which was apparently so useless to users that no one bothered to put them on. At least, my quick rummage of cables didn't find any. There is alleged to be a color code. The plastic inside the connector is white for 1.x, black or white for 2.0, blue for 3.0, and yellow or red for sleep/charge. My quick rummage of cables suggests this is not necessarily known to cable manufacturers. I think the ports on devices are more rigorous about this, at least, I think all my USB 3 ports are blue.

dognotdog 12 hours ago 9 replies      
Personally, I am rather sad to see the Magsafe connector go, and having to sacrifice IO for charging while mobile seems like quite the headscratcher.

It's somewhat funny that not only will you have to carry dongles for everything for a few years time, but also make sure you carry the right USB-C cables, as your friend's might not work. Yay we have superlight laptops, but need to carry a backpack full of spaghettied cables.

smilekzs 8 hours ago 1 reply      
It is not easy to see, but we ARE on a converging path, instead of the other way around. Current high-speed off-board point-to-point data links (SATA, USB3, DisplayPort, PCIe, etc.) have converged onto some sort of 8b/10b differential signaling. We used to have totally separate OSI stacks, but now we are seeing potential to leverage the same physical layer (i.e. USB Type-C). Sure, we would have to carry different protocols, but I am optimistic --- eventually ASIC makers roll out adaptive chips (just like the cross-wire RJ45 @jws mentioned was solved by Auto MDI-X) that are smart enough to negotiate the correct protocol (MAC layer upwards) between the two sides.
0x0 12 hours ago 4 replies      
And then there's this: http://www.macrumors.com/2016/10/28/macbook-pro-tb3-reduced-...

"MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) The two right-hand ports deliver Thunderbolt 3 functionality, but have reduced PCI Express bandwidth."

etblg 12 hours ago 6 replies      
I liked when we just had USB2 and all you had to do was try to plug it in once, flip it over, try to plug it in again, flip it over once more, now it plugs in, and now you're reasonably sure it'll work.

And now the near-future seems to be full of dongles, shame.

todd8 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I once had a large plastic tub, full of SCSI cables, there were around 10 kinds of connectors, in both male and female configurations and about 10 different kinds of cables. Disk drives would have one kind of connector and often computers would have a different style connector necessitating lots of A to B connection issues. And the cables were expensive, often over $100. It was an absolute mess.

It seems that the USB-C connector, finally, represents a small, robust, easy to use connector that is capable of high data bandwidths.

It wouldn't make anything any better to have different connectors and different cables for charging, mice, keyboards, disk drives, monitors, etc. I just hope that I'll be able to get by with a handful of different lengths of the highest end cables (e.g. the thunderbolt 3) and use them for everything.

ChuckMcM 10 hours ago 1 reply      
And some vendors are apparently not having all ports do all things, so two USB-C ports, one can charge at high power and one can't, but from the outside they look identical, plugging into either can charge, but the low power one will take forever.

While I'm a big fan of backward compatibility, I feel that at some point it is better to start fresh rather than try to wedge another solution into the same mechanical configuration. And while I get that people didn't appreciate motherboards that went ISA->PCI->AGP->PCI_e, it saved people from the frustration of plugging cards in that wouldn't work.

Kliment 11 hours ago 1 reply      
There's actually a semi-legit reason to make a usb2-only c-c cable: because it can get away with not having the high-(super)speed differential pairs, it can be thinner, lighter and cheaper than a full-function cable. Compare to charge-only microusb cables - they are indistinguishable from real cables, but lack critical functionality. If they were easily distinguishable, this would not be nearly as much of a problem.

One really major (to me at least) concern with moving from USB to thunderbolt is that thunderbolt is a PCIe connection, with the same security issues as firewire (a device can basically access all your RAM, extract keys and passwords, plant exploits etc). By bundling that into the same form factor as the (by comparison) far safer USB and hdmi/displayport we're putting users at risk.

jzl 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Food for thought: will USB-C be the "last" standard connector? Speaking in terms of the physical connector, not the data protocol. I'm sure it will eventually prove not to be, but it's got a lot going for it and I suspect it will last for a very long time. If USB-A was the dominant connector for nearly 20 years I think C could see a run of 50 years or more. RJ45 connectors are around 40 years old and aren't going anywhere soon. I wonder what the qualities would be of a connector to replace USB-C.
gengkev 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Back when we had different connectors for different things, we knew one thing: if it fit, it worked. But the proliferation of incompatible connectors, driven by the advancement of technology, meant that nothing fit! So we created one connector to rule them all: USB-C. Now everything fits, but nothing works.
ilyagr 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Why doesn't the USB consortium standardize (and, ideally, enforce) labeling of ports and cables by capabilities? Kind of like washing instructions labels on clothes, only printed on the cable.

The ports on a laptop wouldn't have to be physically labeled if the OS could display a list of their capabilities in a user-friendly manner. Or, perhaps, they should have the most important label (e.g. thunderbolt or not). Something the committee would decide.

Matthias247 11 hours ago 4 replies      
Very interesting article.

Can here anybody maybe even explain a little bit more about the video (Displayport) alternate mode? As far as I understand now both USB3 and Thunderbolt support it, but they support it with a different Displayport standard. How will that work if I plug in a future monitor with USB-C? Will there first be some negotiation in which both devices clarify whether to use USB oder Thunderbolt. And then another one in which the alternate mode is set? Or is displayport directly available on some dedicated pins of the cable and if yes, would it be the same for both cases? Or is displayport somehow modulated/multiplexed on the remaining data stream, and in a different fashion for USB3 than for Thunderbolt?

jda0 12 hours ago 1 reply      
USB3 ports and cables are (when spec compliant) easily distinguishable from USB2 due to them being blue. Why was the same not done for USB-C (black for USB3, red for Thunderbolt)?
ufmace 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think I can answer at least one of the questions, on why make 2.0 only C cables.

When I got my Nexus 5X, I bought some assorted A to C cables to go with it. I noticed that the 3.0-capable cables are awfully thick and heavy, and not so convenient to carry around with a mobile device. I bought some 2.0-only A to C cables that are much thinner, lighter, and more flexible, and use those instead. Considering that I will basically never need the extra 3.0 speed for connection to my phone, I'll take the cheaper, lighter, more flexible cable every time.

phamilton 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Is the long term dongle free? C to C everywhere? My TV could have USB-C instead of HDMI ports. I could use the same cable I use for charging my phone to hook my laptop up to the TV.

This solves the cable problem (every cable should support the full spec) but it doesn't quite solve the support question. Just because I have a cable that works between my phone and TV doesn't mean it will actually do anything.

shurcooL 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Such mixed feelings about this. Really nice content, but misleading title. :(

I already knew all that, but I appreciate the write up for others who don't already know all those details. I'm an enthusiast and obsessed with these details of ports, protocols and cables. I predicted this a year ago [0] and I'm very happy with this outcome. Yes, it's a transition period, which is unpleasant every time, but we will be in a fantastic state in a few years.

[0] https://twitter.com/shurcool/status/607351368387469312

tw04 12 hours ago 3 replies      
>The core issue with USB-C is confusion: Not every USB-C cable, port, device, and power supply will be compatible

Not every USB-A port, device, cable, and power supply are compatible. I'm not sure I understand what his point is. That people who refuse to do research are going to occasionally run into incompatibility problems? Like they have since the dawn of the computing age? And?

corndoge 10 hours ago 3 replies      
Is it possible to make one Type-C cable that supports every possible protocol that can go over Type-C and works as long as the devices are compatible? I.e., if the two devices can talk over Type-C, then the cable will work?
bootload 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a real evolutionary fight going on with connectors at the moment.

 > Apple's fastest growing product category.
This tweet highlights the Apple problem right now [0] What is damaging to users is the cost / availability of connectors. What was the last time this connector nightmare played out? Token/Ethernet, Serial/DBX/USB? It pays to be a bit conservative in hardware choice at this moment.

[0] https://twitter.com/dbreunig/status/792034409788518401

__david__ 11 hours ago 1 reply      
This strikes me as being the same situation as hdmi cabling. Anyone who has bought a 1080p tv then a 3D tv then a 4K tv then an hdr tv knows that not all hdmi cables are made equally. This is not great, but it's very far from a nightmare.
nobrains 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
icinnamon 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm a bit confused. The ports on the computers themselves can have different protocols- that makes sense.But the cables themselves can also support different protocols? Maybe I'm just naive, but can someone explain how a "dumb" cable supports different specs?
tbatchelli 10 hours ago 0 replies      
A meta comment. There are many other threads lamenting that this is not a "Pro" machine, but all this cable discussion is not foreign to audio, video and IT professionals and prosumers. If you want to get the max of your pro computer's IO you will need to learn your cable specs and protocols.

It does look that the future will require some rebuilding of our cabling. I have a thunderbolt hub that connects to my screen, my external thunderbolt drive, and a plethora of USB devices. I only use a single Thunderbolt port on my laptop. I like this Future. With these bandwidths I can see us connecting more interesting devices to our laptops

sesutton 11 hours ago 3 replies      
The USB 3.1 gen1 and gen2 thing still really boggles my mind. It's almost as if the USB-IF was trying to confuse people. Who retroactively renames a standard?
billylo 12 hours ago 3 replies      
USB standard bodies can borrow a page from the Ethernet port and signal standards. 10-mbps to Gbps evolution does not have to be painful for users.
krylon 10 hours ago 4 replies      
The proliferation of various ports and interfaces has been disturbing, even in the PC arena where Thunderbolt is rather hypothetical.

Displays alone drive me insane these days. Twenty years ago, you had a VGA connector, and that was it. Then came DVI, which allegedly worked better with TFT panels. Then came HDMI, but there is also DisplayPort which appears to be similar, yet different. I have not seen a display or beamer that will accept DisplayPort input. Does such a thing even exist?

And laptops have, of course, the "mini" version of these, so there is mini-DisplayPort (which looks suspiciously like ThunderBolt) and there is mini-HDMI (which looks suspiciously like USB-C).

I am still telling myself this is a transition, and in five years everything will be USB-C. Once we are there, that sounds like a nice future, but I am not certain we'll get there in time. (Plus, a tea leaf got stuck my Galaxy Tab's USB-C port while riding the train - it took me an hour to scrape and shake everything out before that thing could be charged again. Something that never happened to me with good old USB ports for some reason, even though they were much larger.)

fragmede 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Generally the cable hasn't mattered in consumer devices - as long as the device and cable are good and you plug it in to the right port, it'll work. A cable's a cable, after all, right? Unfortunately, that's not true, hasn't been true for a bit, and Apple's only partially to blame. DVI-A, anyone?

Some of Apple's dongles have a microcontroller inside in order to do the signal conversion, so it's a wonder they're only $30. That lighting-to-3.5mm jack that comes with the iPhone 7? Tiiiiny DAC - http://www.macrumors.com/2016/09/20/lightning-earpods-teardo... (The other option being dumb signaling with the iPhone itself doing the DAC and passing the signal, as USB-C allows with alternate mode).

Past Apple's dongle madness though, the bleeding edge of technology has always had a few edges. Despite the connector at the end fitting, HDMI 1.0 cables won't work where HDMI High Speed cables are necessary (though monster cables are still a rip off). High-end 4k TVs need the proper cables or else it won't work, just like a random cable with RJ-45s on the end won't necessarily support gigabit connection speed (or even support ethernet, for that matter).

If Monoprice listing all the possible variations of USB-C cables seems frustrating, and you're allergic to details, only buy the expensive Apple cables and certified Apple accessories and you'll be fine, same as it's always been.

If you need to venture outside their walled garden, yeah, there are some details to know about that the article doesn't go into, but I'm quite excited for what's become known as the USB-C connector to become the global consumer connector standard. Once that's true, the fewer weird dongles we'll all need, and you'll always be able to charge your phone-that-has-usb-c (we'll see if the iPhone 8 picks up USB-C).

What the author glosses over in the article is actually an interesting part of USB Type-C spec, which is Alternate Mode. This allows a device and host to negotiate to speak something other than USB on the pins, be it video, networking, or in Apple's case Thunderbolt 3.

Apple's definitely gone and made things confusing with Thunderbolt 3 - for everyone else. Buying only Apple stuff is going to "just work" as long as you keep buying their newest shiniest gadget, and, well, they're in the business of selling gadgets.

jay_kyburz 3 hours ago 1 reply      
What is so crazy about this is, if you can't risk just using any cable that fits in a socket, becuase you could damage your hardware, end users would be better off with a completely unique shape for every cable.

This is a giant leap backwards.

vladimir-y 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Thunderbolt 3 is a great thing (really), though some time is needed for the transition period.
ulfw 11 hours ago 1 reply      
It is a pity that they didn't introduce a common color coding for USB-C connector cables.
naner 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The fact that certain devices cab be damaged by the wrong cable is inexcusable.
russdill 10 hours ago 1 reply      
The article is pretty good, but this amount of hyperbole is really unforgivable: "If youre not careful, you can neuter or even damage your devices by using the wrong cable." First of all, the linked post says that C to C cables do not have this problem at all. The issue comes about in relation to how older standards report allowable power draw via resistor configuration. This is a problem that can only occur with USB A to USB C and also USB A to USB B.
chewxy 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I was in shenzhen a couple of days ago, and faced with the prospect of having different types of USB-C cables, I bought one of each standard (thunderbolt, USB3.0 and 3.1).

I now have a problem because I don't remember which colour is which. Is there a way to find out without having to break the nicely braided cables?

nashashmi 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This makes my brain hurt:

Thunderbolt 3 is really an Alternate Mode use of the Type-C port/cable, just like HDMI. But in practice, Thunderbolt 3 is a super-set of USB 3.1 for USB-C since no implementation of Thunderbolt 3 will be USB 2.0 only.

Anybody care to explain?

makomk 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I think this understates the number of ways you can connect a monitor over USB-C if anything. Let's see, there's Alternate Mode DisplayPort, Alternate Mode HDMI, Alternate Mode Thunderbolt's video support, Thunderbolt to an external GPU, USB 3.0 graphics, possibly more, most or all of which can be converted to HDMI with different compatibility and performance tradeoffs.
bootload 3 hours ago 0 replies      
interesting read on the technical details of the ports b/w 13"/15" and port placement: "Thunderbolt 3 Ports on Right Side of 13-Inch MacBook Pro Have Reduced PCI Express Bandwidth" ~ http://www.macrumors.com/2016/10/28/macbook-pro-tb3-reduced-...
crudbug 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The politics behind standard committees is horrible. Just call the new standard USB 4.0 which supports alternate mode, power delivery ...
hkjayakumar 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's a slightly unrelated question -

What happens if you plug in 4 power cords into the new MacBooks ?

beedogs 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
> Although it looks exactly the same as a regular USB-C cable, you need a special Thunderbolt 3 cable to use Thunderbolt 3 devices!

They're clearly putting a lot of lead in the water in Cupertino lately.

karlb 5 hours ago 1 reply      
So am I right in understanding that(i) When my new MacBook Pro arrives, I need to learn which is the Thunderbolt port.(ii) I can simplify matters by always buying the top-spec leads. If so, how do I know which to buy?
Dylan16807 10 hours ago 0 replies      
> Thunderbolt 3 requires a special cable

Apparently this isn't quite right. You can use normal passive USB 3 cables to get 40Gbps at very short lengths and 20Gbps at medium lengths.

Unless they're too low quality.

fredfoobar42 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This just sounds like the same whining people did when the Mac went to USB back in 1998. "You mean I need an ADAPTER for my SCSI device?!"
jonathanberger 12 hours ago 3 replies      
The mistake this article makes is thinking that the typical person will interact with many different USB-C ports and cables than his or her own. The reality, is that people will get to know their own ports, buy their own cables and devices, and things will work 99% of the time.

Only occasionally they'll need to use a friend or coworker's device or cable and then there could be confusion. Although, even then, assuming the friend also has one of the most popular computers/phones/cables, it'll probably still work.

teilo 5 hours ago 0 replies      
What a bunch of alarmist BS. Drop all the exclamation points. No one takes you seriously if you end every damn sentence that way.
exabrial 11 hours ago 6 replies      
Tim Cook is the Steve Balmer of Apple. Balmer lead Microsoft to near oblivion. Really nice to see Microsoft change into a more open company... I'm getting more and more impressed with things like the Linux subsystem.

I haven't bought a Mac or an iPhone in awhile because their hardware is terrible compared to their competitors. Gimmicky features like 3d touch (haven't used it once, intentionally), unnatural scrolling, and this touch bar are things I'll probably use once or twice. Literally the only reason I stick with OSX is because it's a commercially supported Unix system with a nice user interface.

What I don't understand is the "pro" in the name. Doesn't a "pro"fessional need to do things with their computer outside of a coffee shop; usable I/O, gigabit ethernet, slots for interfacing with their other professional equipment, etc. I can totally understand these features in a consumer edition laptop. But there is no longer a reason to call these "pro" laptops.

The silver lining I guess is maybe Apple drives a new wave of people to desktop Linux and we can finally get a nice, modern, desktop environment. Either that or another project to get OSX running on [superior] non-Apple hardware.

Anyway, just my opinions. I wonder if anyone has similar thoughts.

LeanderK 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anybody know how the protocol/mode gets negotiated? Its unbelievable what capabilities such a small port has.
cmurf 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the nightmare is if we give up and go back to separate ports and cables for various things.
moogly 11 hours ago 1 reply      
What happened to Thunderbolt 3 over USB 3.1 Alternate Mode?
partycoder 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, a similar situation exists with UTP cables, where cat5 offers 100 Mbps, cat5e offers 1000 Mbps, and cat6 offers 10000 Mbps. They all look exactly the same unless you go and read the label on the cable and are familiar with this.
revelation 11 hours ago 3 replies      
That's just the start of it. So the new MBP has what, four USB-C ports.

Can I put power into all of them?What if I try to do 4xHDMI for all of them?Surely I can't connect four external graphics cards over Thunderbolt 3? Can I chain Thunderbolt devices?

The author also missed the "audio accessory mode". That's right, in some unique star constellation, some of these USB-C pins can be repurposed for pumping out analog audio!Supported? Who knows.

I think before long every USB-C accessory will have to come with some sort of EEPROM that the host reads first to figure out 1) what is this you are plugging in and 2) is this going to work. So that there is at least some user feedback instead of "plain doesn't work" or "oopsie now the port is dead".

ngoldbaum 12 hours ago 3 replies      
Anyone have a mirror?
wyager 11 hours ago 1 reply      
USB needs to go back to being "universal". The USB spec has been getting progressively more complicated over the years; it's time to cut back.
transfire 11 hours ago 0 replies      
And here I am wishing HD-BaseT would catch on, but I don't think the people behind that (and USB-C) have any intention of actually making our lives easier -- it's just to having something new to sell :(


riobard 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Worse case scenario: USB-C is gonna ruin the entire PC/Mac industry due to confusion and potential damage.
Cognitive bias cheat sheet coach.me
670 points by charlieirish  2 days ago   136 comments top 40
thaw13579 2 days ago 10 replies      
I find the treatment of psychology on HN to be perplexing. On one hand, there have been attacks on psychology as a field [1] due to legitimate concerns related to replication. On the other hand, blog posts such as this come up every few days that take the same results for granted and frame them in everyday terms.

I wonder, are there different groups of HN readers with different attitudes towards psychology? Or does the treatment also depend on the presentation, e.g. in the form of a scientific publication vs. a brain hacking tips or cheatsheet.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12643978

Goladus 2 days ago 5 replies      
This is cool, although the real trick is knowing when and how to employ methods that will mitigate the problems caused by cognitive bias to accurately identify and resolve conflicts and facilitate clear decision-making. This is the purpose of courts, the purpose of peer review, the purpose of debate.

Generally, it is not necessary to understand every single type of cognitive bias in a nuanced way to mitigate the problems. Indeed, sometimes cognitive biases overlap to the extent that trying to mitigate one, you'll wind up affected by another. What's important is that your behavior and social rules be oriented towards uncovering truth through dialectic methods.

Jonathan Haidt, a moral psychologist, recently posted a terrific video on the the issue viewpoint diversity on college campuses-- specifically, the lack of it. Problems of confirmation bias are exaggerated, especially in social sciences, when there's a lack of viewpoint diversity on campus. When everyone likes the conclusions put forth by a paper, no one is motivated to find the flaws. Thus the flaws are not found, the flawed papers get cited by other papers, and you wind up with a knowledge base that is increasingly divorced from reality. Whether you know the name for that bias or not is less relevant than actually addressing the structural problems.

nojvek 2 days ago 3 replies      
"The world is very confusing, and we end up only seeing a tiny sliver of it, but we need to make some sense of it in order to survive. Once the reduced stream of information comes in, we connect the dots, fill in the gaps with stuff we already think we know, and update our mental models of the world."

So wonderfully said. I wonder what biases AI will develop in its models

nekopa 2 days ago 5 replies      
I'm impressed that he managed to figure this out whilst taking care of a baby.

When my son was born, I spent most of the wee hours testing which Star Wars theme I hummed worked best for getting him back to sleep.

(By the way, The Imperial March worked best, especially slowed down and rocking him on every 4th beat)

cm2012 2 days ago 3 replies      
In politics, I find gambling is the best way to resolve disputes among friends stemming from cognitive bias. Put a bit of money on various results and someone will be right and someone will be wrong.
danieltillett 2 days ago 0 replies      
How can any list of cognitive biases be complete without the end-of-history illusion [1]. Given the number of young people I see with tattoos it would have to be the most common illusion.

1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/End-of-history_illusion

dimman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Quite funny when hearing yourself think "Yeah this is confirming my own thoughts" and then you stop and think about what you just read.
dredmorbius 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm fascinated by the graph Manoogian created. Does anyone know what specific tools were used to create it, or which could be used to create similar ontologies?


I'm working with a largish ontology of my own I'd like to present to 2-3 and possibly more levels of depth. GraphViz isn't cutting it.

(I'd asked Manoogian himself, he vaguely pointed at some R graphics tools, which was as far as I've gotten.)

anton_tarasenko 2 days ago 4 replies      
To summarize biases further, in one word: Incompetence.

Lab results confirming cognitive biases come from testing small groups of students (up to 200). Among other things, it means: (1) respondents with similar background, so we can't generalize (2) respondents don't care about outcomes, (3) tests are synthetic. Plus publication bias and other standard issues.

These results are themselves a sort of confirmation bias.

Mistakes in real life happen when we don't know what we're doing. If a person can learn, he'll discover systematic mistakes. But that comes with domain experience, not cognitive science.

curiousgal 2 days ago 1 reply      
Granted this might be useful but I believe the ability to recognize these biases and fallacies can only be improved by experience. You can read or memorize what each bias is but you might not be that quick to recognize it in a discussion, it takes practice not just a cheat sheet[0].


bahjoite 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is excellent. It could be improved by adding a very short summary of each bias. This would help the reader to drill-down to a specific bias of interest.
ensiferum 2 days ago 0 replies      
I learned a long time ago already not to trust my memory. For example I'm trying to find a piece of text in a book, or a specific story in a newspaper my memory might give me a clue, which would be something like "it's on that page next to that "red thing" or "there's a story on the opposite page about xyz". I never trust this anymore it's a wild goose chase.

A good thing to think about how biased your brain is, is to think of that time when you were witnessing that wonderful sunset and you decided to take a photo. Later you look at the photo and it doesn't look at all like you remember. Why? Because it's your brain playing tricks on you. You have a built in image filter in your brain that adjusts the image and your memory of it whereas the camera sees it "objectively."

Once you become aware of all the cognitive biases you just get tired of listening to people talk (about anything really), when it's full of logical holes and anecdotes. In fact it becomes painful especially when listening to some electoral candidate / politician talk about stuff that might actually matter. sigh

pkinsky 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for putting this together! As someone interested in cognitive biases, I wonder: how many of these effects have survived the recent replication crisis intact?
dfsegoat 2 days ago 0 replies      
This exact title/link has been posted a number of times (>5) in the past 1-2 months [1].

I'd be interested to know which cognitive bias is at work when the instance of the post today gets 480+ points -- but no instances of this post (same title, same url) in the past 1 month garnered more than 26 pts.

I am both new to HN, and legitimately curious. Perhaps the content of the site was improved dramatically?

edit: clarity.

[0] https://hn.algolia.com/?query=cognitive%20bias%20cheat%20she...

DINKDINK 2 days ago 0 replies      
>We notice flaws in others more easily than flaws in ourselves. Yes, before you see this entire article as a list of quirks that compromise how other people think, realize that you are also subject to these biases.

I found this section was written very pourly./s ;]

inanutshellus 2 days ago 0 replies      
The article starts off by complaining about the wikipedia article, but as I was reading his post I kept thinking "But this is exactly what was in the Wikipedia infographic!" .... aaand then I realize the infographic is a side-effect of his blog post!

A little ah-hah moment for me. :)

madenine 2 days ago 2 replies      
Great article, but what on earth is the point of the huge wheel chart? Its pretty, but I'm not sure what conclusions it helps me draw, other than sorting sources of bias by group/subgroup in a difficult to read manner.
4h53n 1 day ago 0 replies      
4.3 "We reduce events and lists to their key elements."I liked how this one relates to cheat sheet itself.
zoom6628 2 days ago 0 replies      
Useful resource to review. There is always time to think about how we think. I know from experience that always underestimate by 30% the time it takes to do things - being it gardening or coding. I measure it to find out. Cognitive bias is something that we all need to be aware of. Just give yourself a 30sec "CB Check" before any decision and see what happens.
sudoelefant 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a dataset somewhere with sentences/paragraphs labeled with cognitive biases? The idea of a machine learning program auto labeling college essays with faulty deductive logic is enticing. Then run the system backward to generate logically sound arguments like the yahoo Nsfw detector post recently.
carsongross 2 days ago 0 replies      
One has to make a distinction between dialectic situations, where you are trying to get at the truth, vs. rhetorical situations, where the attempt is to convince others (often not the person you are speaking with) of the truth.

For example, trotting out cognitive biases in a rhetorical situation is often very effective, particularly when your opponent is operating in a dialectic mindset.

Know thyself, but also know thy situation.

gog 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is the third article on the front page that is running on medium.com infrastructure with that annoying banner in the footer.

Is that the new standard?

jmorrison 2 days ago 0 replies      
I highly recommend "Charlie Munger On the Psychology of Human Misjudgement."

PDF transcription here http://www.rbcpa.com/mungerspeech_june_95.pdf

Explains a lot (he says, during Presidential Election season in the US)

fatdog 2 days ago 0 replies      
Want a poster of this in every meeting room, maybe sans brain picture in favor of Rodin's Thinker sculpture.
mrcactu5 2 days ago 0 replies      
there are so many cognitive bias we see them on the street, in popular music, homeless people, university professors, alcoholics, politicians... everyone exhibits more than a few of these.

So many in fact, I just look at the list overwhelmed and curl in bed and suck my thumb

devy 2 days ago 2 replies      
This reminds me of master persuader Scott Adams mentioned about "cognitive dissonance"[1] on some of his recent tweets.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

l0ner 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those interested in the topic, there's a really good book (also available as audiobook) that covers this in some depth, "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman.
hairy_man674 2 days ago 0 replies      
Related to biases are fallacies in argument as illustrated (in a less serious but instructive manner) here: http://existentialcomics.com/comic/9
bluetwo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nicely done.

I like to refer to it as "short-cut thinking" rather than cognitive bias, because people that might not know the term immediately understand what I'm getting at.

lor3nzo 2 days ago 0 replies      
20 cognitive biases that screw up your decisions


idlewords 2 days ago 1 reply      
I got tired reading this, but had gotten too far not to finish.
tonystubblebine 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hurray Buster! Cool to see this article doing so well!
callesgg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Can one get that graph in a non renderd format.Is it only available as that blury jpg?

Looked for myself, but i cant find anything.

PaulHoule 2 days ago 0 replies      
My suspicion is that cognitive biases have a lot of what it means to be human. In particular I think the "language instinct" is a derangement of the ability to reason about uncertainty in a consistent way that makes language learning possible.
gcb0 2 days ago 0 replies      
it talks about suken cost falacy but links to the entry on actual sunken cost, which at most has an argument about fixed vs recurring sunken costs.
rdiddly 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like the wheel chart has already been added to the Wikipedia page... talk about circularity...
known 1 day ago 0 replies      
Insulate yourself from Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), Narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), Psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), Sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others)
peterwwillis 1 day ago 0 replies      
And of course the biggest cognitive bias: that knowing about cognitive biases will make you less of a monkey in a baseball cap. Just remember that at all times you are probably wrong, and you'll do okay.
wfeui3 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is 'cheat sheet'; short and handy reference for making a quick decision. Full reference is probably a few tons of books.

I feel that someone who just uses instinct, will make faster and better decision, even with all the biases and cognitive illusions.

zobzu 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think its a slur of excuses we tell ourselves. We just don't care all that much.

It's all about filling your brain with the latest instant fad. People get bored if they don't get their fix of fake news or cat pictures. How would they even spend a few hours doing real research and actually trying to think?

Way too hard. The internet only exacerbates these issues.This blog is even a prime example. It's telling you what to think so you don't have to, and it matches the popular bias so its easy to just praise it and move on to the next insta-fad.

Git from the inside out recurse.com
704 points by Tomte  2 days ago   117 comments top 29
edejong 2 days ago 10 replies      
Certain systems can best be understood as black boxes. You put some commands in and magic happens. Git was not designed to be such a system and early users of git know this.

During the last 5 years, many GUIs have filled in this gap, making it increasingly likely to find people completely stuck because they miss knowledge of the foundations.

Git is a utility to manage an append-only repository of tree-objects, blobs and commits. To help humans, git adds

- human-readable pointers (branches, HEAD, stash)

- an method to incrementally add changes (staging/index/working area)

- a method to append tree-objects, blobs and commits from repository to another

- some commands which alleviate steps in common tasks

These last set of commands cause pain, as users without foundational knowledge, do not realize these commands are compounding many small steps.

AceJohnny2 2 days ago 2 replies      
See also "Git from the Bottom Up" https://jwiegley.github.io/git-from-the-bottom-up/

I read lots of tutorials on Git when I started with it just a few years ago, and that's the one that best helped me grok it.

davewhat 2 days ago 0 replies      

I haven't seen a git article link to this amazing website recently. By far one of the best ways to teach someone git is to walk someone through git by executing commands and allowing them to see the visual representation of those commands.

There is also an amazing single-player learning mode.

avip 2 days ago 3 replies      
OT (or not) -

Of 20 most popular Qs on SO, 7 now ask how to do trivial operations in git.


Take it or live it, git has facts-based proven track record of ui wtfness.

no_protocol 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like the writing style and the scope of the piece. Well done.

I kind of wish there were at least mentions of git plumbing commands where appropriate, to shake off one more level (half a level?) of magic. For example, just link to some information on `git hash-object` in the section on `git add`. Footnotes would probably be enough. No need to bog down the relatively quick pacing. Sometimes it can be hard to discover which plumbing commands correspond to the actions mentioned.

Most git tutorials come with diagrams of blobs and trees and branches with all the arrows and color coding. They get the meaning across but often seem to come with a bit of a mental disconnect from what is actually happening in the working directory and .git directory. Does anyone know of a tool to display that kind of diagram in real time while you are making commits or checking out new branches? It could bring an extra level of interactivity to the presentation. Imagine if the graphs on this page were updating live while you had to type the git commands to get them to update AND you could monitor the filesystem at the same time, showing exactly which files were changed by the command.

MichaelBurge 2 days ago 1 reply      
git by itself, I recommend reading the README on the initial commit:


It was only 1000 lines of C at the time, so it couldn't have needed a million different articles and blogs to explain.

That doesn't give you a workflow or explain any of the more advanced features. The workflow you can get from any cookbook list of shell commands, and the advanced features you can get from the manual.

martijn_himself 2 days ago 0 replies      
Off-topic: this must be one of the most beautifully designed sites I've come across lately.

I wish more sites were an oasis of calm like this.

benhoyt 2 days ago 1 reply      
Very good read. I was just hacking around with a tiny Python program that implemented enough to init, add, commit, and push itself to GitHub. It's all very simple until you get to the index format ... which isn't that bad, but it's definitely more complicated than this article makes out.

She refers to .git/index as a text file where "each line of the file maps a tracked file to the hash of its content". However, .git/index is actually a binary file where each entry is a bunch of different fields like creation time and modify time and SHA-1 encoded in binary. See https://github.com/git/git/blob/master/Documentation/technic...

So I wasn't sure whether this part of the article was simply wrong, or whether git index format "version 1" was text, or something else?

noufalibrahim 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think this is a good way to teach git.

I approach the whole thing similarly during my trainings and wrote a few dirty scripts to generate an image of what the repository looks like using graphviz https://gist.github.com/nibrahim/6119925

eropple 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is how I teach git when I do training sessions for companies. I really dig this approach; the plumbing on top of Git is not really sufficiently abstracted to avoid knowing this stuff, but at the same time it tries to hide just enough of it to end up biting you when (not if) something goes sideways.
bobthedino 1 day ago 0 replies      
Worth linking to the excellent YouTube version of this too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCtZWGhQBvo
GoToRO 2 days ago 0 replies      
The thing that is missing from all tutorials is that branches, tags and everything else are just pointers to a node in the tree. I.e. branches have no "content".
preordained 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good stuff. Can't help but agree with others that I don't really want to be forced to be intimate with Git at a gory insides level, though. I use tortoise Git, and perhaps it's removed the temptation to experiment with things that could blow my foot off, but 99% of the time I have no reason to drop to the command line--nor do I want to.
cakeface 2 days ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of The Git Parable which helped me understand git when I was first getting started. I really do believe that you have to understand how git actually works under the UI in order to have long term success using it. Whether it's bad or good to need this understanding can be debated but I believe that it is truth.


yread 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is all simple stuff. It's when after a rebase there are conflicts in files where they shouldn't be and the CI says "failed" then my knees weaken and i yearn for a guide that would explain everything
partycoder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Explaining version control might be a bit challenging. Distributed version control is a bit more challenging. So teaching git can be a lot to take for a newcomer.

I went from subversion to git. In retrospective, subversion was much simpler conceptually (but problems like syncing branches were harder).

I found myself once explaining a git concept based on the plot of Back to the Future II. I think it was a perfect example to how to resolve some merge problem.

There are some "git cheatsheets" that provide a very straightforward graphical explanation of what some commands do. That helped me to consolidate some concepts.

disposablezero 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone really interested in git internals should look at git-draw.


supersan 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is one of the best ways to lean new techonology. I remember that long back ago when i was in college i had some trouble understanding some aspects of web servers and so i decided to write a small web server in perl and soon soon i kinda knew it inside out. Same for writing my own Smtp client, the knowledge i gained from it will be with me forever.
scandox 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's also this from the same author: https://maryrosecook.com/blog/post/git-in-six-hundred-words

She's a really clear informative writer

caf 2 days ago 0 replies      
This kind of makes me wonder why you have separate objects/ stores for each repository you have checked out - it seems like you could have just one in your $HOME that all your git repositories share.
mnsc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Or just check out the talk with the kindergarden teacher wearing bib pants that stacks balls and pins... Git for ages four and up I think.
golergka 2 days ago 0 replies      
Read and upvoted this previous time it was posted. Reread and upvoted it this time too.

This is a good example explaining why reposts should be not only allowed, but encouraged on HN.

JustSomeNobody 2 days ago 0 replies      
Author has a lot of good reads on her blog. Also, some of her live coding demos on YouTube are fun to watch.
erikb 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is how you do git. Read it. Learn it. And you will see the light of version control awesomeness!
kasabali 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mods, can you please add 2015 to the title?
rplst8 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of comments here such as "Git has a horrible UI/UX", "I don't want to have to learn the inner workings of a tool", "Certain systems are designed so well that they can be understood as black boxes", and a lot of other complaining about Git and it's idiosyncrasies.

I think this needs to be dissected a bit. First, Git operates in a manner (internally) that is foreign to most users of other SCM systems. Second, Git has a bit of a "tacked-on" nature to it's CLI that can make use cumbersome for newcomers especially when they have been taught the shortcuts before the fundamentals.

For the first problem, I think this is where the black-box comments apply. And honestly, I think treating SCMs as black boxes is what got us into the situation we were in before Git. Version control, branching, merging, change management, and change deconfliction are hard problems, IMO. Personally, I think the base level functions that Git provides, combined with Git workflows from Atlassian (and others) really helps provide a daily routine to handle these situations. After cloning: branch -> change -> index (or update) -> commit -> pull -> fix conflicts -> commit -> push -> merge (or pull request) -> repeat. There are some variations depending on your branching model, but by-in-large this is what prevents regressions and forces people doing the committing to resolve the changes and not to break master.

I think you need to understand the "internals" of any SCM to really be able to conquer the challenges of distributed version control and the complexities of modern software development. I've worked in Rational ClearCase shops, and we needed a ClearCase guru on site too. Every team should have a Git guru.

For the second problem, yes, the CLI is a bit clunky at times. This, combined with a misunderstanding of Git fundamentals can lead you down some bad paths. Cleaning up the CLI is an independent problem from Git internals - and I'll admit some taxonomy/hierarchy/ontology/whatever of commands is probably needed to refine the day to day workflows. However, if you mess up the repo because you don't understand the branching and merging model, you are going to have to use the more "specialized" commands which, let's face it are going to be a bit more cryptic. This is the same for any system that has some maintenance or repair type functionality.

This is why I say, learning how Git works, allows you to learn the branching model better, which will hopefully allow you to avoid those particularly thorny paths.

Sure, you can choose some other SCM system that seems less cryptic or easier to use, but you will likely find yourself in a bind someday in those systems that you will need it's cryptic commands to get out of. Or more likely, doing a lot of work that Git would have allowed you to do in a fraction of the time.

ryenus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Too bad git clone and fetch are still not resumable.
andrewvijay 2 days ago 0 replies      
just when I needed the most. Thanks a lot homie!
FCC Vote Means Internet Providers Need Permission to Share Your Data npr.org
536 points by suprgeek  2 days ago   110 comments top 20
devindotcom 2 days ago 7 replies      
Interestingly there seems to be a loophole in that they can collect the data regardless of consent, but can't use or share it without consent. So chances are this sensitive data will be recorded and put in a database anyway, even if they're not lawfully allowed to look at it without anonymizing first - but a future law could also add an exception, keeping things for law enforcement for instance.

I'm triple checking with the FCC on this though.

ars 2 days ago 9 replies      
This is completely pointless. They'll just add some form you have to sign before giving you service and that's about it.

After all, do you read and act on the privacy notifications other providers give you?

Does this at least require them to provider service irregardless of your consent to share data? If not, this is a pointless law that just makes it look like they did something.

anigbrowl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm sure this will lead to radical alterations on paragraph 117 of the typical EULA, where everyone will notice it immediately and have a serious think about the economic value of their personal identifiable information. I have not looked at the actual motion yet but I suspect that companies will only have to answer consumer inquiries in general terms rather than giving them detailed statement. Oh well I've given up trying to safeguard my privacy anyway.
makecheck 2 days ago 0 replies      
If the data is collected at all, it can be collected incorrectly (e.g. stored in such a way that it is stolen eventually, permissions be damned). Still solving the wrong fundamental issue.

We desperately need to work on reducing the importance of data itself. We must assume by default that all information will be improperly handled pretty much anywhere (or, that the task of keeping it secure indefinitely is just too hard).

That means: data whose usefulness expires extremely quickly (with corresponding protocols), and the complete retirement of stupid bits of information we now carry like social security numbers and credit card numbers that can instantly screw you in the wrong hands. In fact, we ought to have proxies for EVERYTHING; I dont know why I even have to hand out my home address, for instance, when in theory I could give a company some temporary proxy address that routes to my house only as long as I ALLOW that forwarding; after that, it becomes meaningless and cannot be used for junk mail.

afarrell 2 days ago 4 replies      
I wish the UK had this. Mobile phone/data providers send a header with HTTP requests to provide the site with your phone number which they can then use to charge you without permission.
wmf 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am kind of surprised that this wasn't already regulated, considering that telephone privacy has been an issue for decades. Perhaps this is a case of an unwritten common-sense policy that is only being codified when ISPs start to break it (e.g. AT&T's now-canceled "Internet Preferences").
supergeek133 2 days ago 1 reply      
In theory they were supposed to have my permission before sharing with the government too... right? Not sure what this stops.

Think of it like when you authorize facebook or someone else to share data via OAuth, how many people read that list?

revelation 2 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe they can now regulate that ISPs can not modify IP payload?

What world are we living in where the post service is allowed to rip open mail and deface it.

dsr_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Commissioner Ajit Pai, who voted no, cautioned that the "cold reality" is that nothing in the new rules will stop those companies from "harvesting and monetizing your data," including the websites visited, YouTube videos watched or search terms entered on any device."

Any reasonable person reading that would infer that Pai thinks that these rules are not sufficient and is in favor of stricter rules. That turns out not to be the case at all.

MayMuncher 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wonder if this applies to airport or arena wifi. Would they be considered an ISP if they are providing internet to mobile devices?
Frogolocalypse 2 days ago 0 replies      
Remember the hoo-haa when Wheeler was appointed chairman of the FCC? He seems to have proven his detractors wrong.
jgord 2 days ago 0 replies      
..because the fact that your _paying_ them, along with the general morality, is in itself not enough of an inducement.
mirimir 1 day ago 0 replies      
No matter what anyone says, it's prudent to assume that everything is logged.
mankash666 2 days ago 1 reply      
About time
6DM 1 day ago 0 replies      
After this comes an "update" to your privacy statement where you have to agree or you loose service...
macawfish 18 hours ago 0 replies      
"the vote was 3-2 along party lines"

for real?

elhenrico 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's there any way to obfuscate my browsing data? As in a program that visits random sites. I've searched but never found something like this.
1812Overture 2 days ago 1 reply      
We have a monopoly. Sign this or you don't get internet.
cloudjacker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Permission like an android app
thomasthomas 2 days ago 1 reply      
lots of power for an entity of unelected officials....
Microsoft Surface Studio theverge.com
598 points by 1st1  3 days ago   552 comments top 60
ChuckMcM 3 days ago 3 replies      
That looks pretty awesome, and it makes the iMac seem even more tired which I assume was intended. It is startling to have a story about IBM extolling the virtues of Macbooks for business and Microsoft launching a platform targeting designers, it really is amazing. But setting all of that aside for a moment....

The screen. Clearly that is the thing which makes this announcement. For me, the 3:2 aspect ratio is so more reasonable for computers than 16:9. And having a zillion pixels is wonderful although my CAD package (TurboCAD) still doesn't deal well with the high DPI screen off the Surface Book, I'm sure it would look silly on this machine.

My experience with the Surface Book tells me that the PixelSense technology is really great for drawing. I have both it and the iPad Pro and not too surprising, at twice the cost, in my opinion the Surface Book's drawing experience is better than the iPad's. I base that opinion on precision of the drawing, expressiveness, and the response time.

Touch. Microsoft is really doubling down on the whole touching thing and so far Apple has stayed away from it with its compute platforms. That is both a strength and a weakness. The rest of the ecosystem doesn't always understand what to do, so you get controls that are too small to use your finger on sometimes, and odd sort of multi-monitor experiences where things appear on one screen and then when you resize them they jump to the other and try to adjust for "touchiness".

If the tools people can get their act together, and by that I mean the designer tools (I for one would love to see a schematic capture and board layout system that was touch enabled and pen enabled) then I think it is only good news for Microsoft, if they can't, then Apple will look really smart at not adopting a "gimmick".

Either way these things are hugely fun to use and play with.

gthtjtkt 3 days ago 13 replies      
$2,999 and the best GPU option is a last-gen mobile card? The default 965M is a crappy budget card (half the performance of the 980M), and if you want the 980M you have to pick the $4,199 configuration.

And hybrid drives!? This thing starts at $2,199 and you can't even get a full SSD? I know 2D designers probably won't mind the GPU, but they could definitely benefit from a true SSD.

Hell, the recently announced Razer Blade Pro has top of the line everything (including a desktop GTX 1080 GPU, 1TB SSD, and 4K screen suitable for photo/video editing) and it still costs less than the 980M Surface Studio: https://www.wired.com/2016/10/razer-blade-pro-laptop/

I must be missing the value proposition here because that price seems absurd, especially for a computer presumably geared towards professionals.

1st1 3 days ago 8 replies      
I have to say this is the first time in years when there's a feeling that MS has outpaced Apple. The product looks amazing.
mhomde 3 days ago 15 replies      
I can't but feel sad that Microsoft somehow is dropping the ball on mobile despite them having been, briefly, in a prime position to succeed. They've executed well with their "One platform"-strategy. UWP is great and with the new composition API their finally moving into being able to compete in the modern software arena. Meanwhile on the hardware side Panos is basically doing what Apple should have been doing if they had any creative leadership left... but it doesn't matter, for some reason they've seemed to abandoned mobile despite having all the pieces in place.

Their mistreatment, lack of support and quality assurance of the mobile side of the platform has been dismal. It's very weird, obviously they can do hardware, they have the ecosystem to back them up and the API teams have been doing some great stuff when it comes to w10, yet they've seemed to given up on mobile.

I must say I don't understand it, how can such a big player as Microsoft abandon such a strategic area of their ecosystem? I understand that it's hard to be a profitable in the harsh reality of consumer electronics and that the money is in business... but yet, if you're not in mobile you're leaving a gaping hole in your ecosystem that leaves the other parts vulnerable. I don't understand why they don't simple pour resources into mobile with the same enthusiasm as tablets/laptops and gaming.

Something must be off with the leadership or I'm missing something

pjmlp 3 days ago 3 replies      
Love it.

It even has a version of their ergonomic keyboards, something that I cannot really understand with Apple, how can one even manage to program in such flat keyboards.

Apple, one of the first companies to introduce ergonomic keyboards to the world.

20tibbygt06 3 days ago 5 replies      
Starting at $2,999 to $4,199

Product Page: https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Surface...

*Surface Dial included

edit: as pointed out below you do get a Surafce Dial with the purchase of the studio. I originally looked at the "what's included" section where the dial was not listed.

jarjoura 3 days ago 2 replies      
At first I applauded Microsoft for continuing to advance the desktop computer market. This is something I wish Apple would continue to invest in but is clear they're moving towards building machines for the engineers to build iOS software.

However then I jump into the Microsoft store and check it out...

$4,199.00 for the high-end option gets you a hybrid drive, probably connected over an older SATA bus and a graphics card from last year? USB 3.0 only and no Thunderbolt?

Is this a system that was designed last year and it took a full year to get to production?

Sorry if I'm being bitchy, but to me this is typical Microsoft only going the 80%.

laurent123456 3 days ago 6 replies      
With its Subsystem for Linux aimed at developers and now this desktop PC for designers, it seems Microsoft is quickly catching up with Apple. Now if they could release a good alternative to the MacBook Pro that would be great.
digi_owl 3 days ago 4 replies      
As a reminder, Pixelsense means that the whole screen is a short range camera. Put a QR code or similar on it and Windows can read it and react accordingly.
guelo 3 days ago 5 replies      
I'm not sure why you need the world's thinnest LCD for a desktop, it's not like you'll be mounting it on a wall or something.

By the way, that presenter is a pretty good actor, but he was trying way too hard in a way that was distracting. The way he called out someone in the audience at one point made it seem like he has standup comedy experience and was trying to connect with the audience but it made no sense.

randomsearch 3 days ago 0 replies      
Apple release iPhone 7, which is then eclipsed somewhat by Google Pixel.

MS announce this immediately before the MacBook announcement.

Conclusions are that (a) Apple are leaky and (b) rather than _avoid_ Apple announcements, their competitors are now happy to compete with them. A bad sign for Apple.

rubber_duck 3 days ago 3 replies      
Nvidia GTX 9xxM - from what I understand 10xx cards offer the biggest difference in performance generation-to-generation seen in a while on the mobile side - the 10xx mobile versions are basically identical to desktop versions, 9xx are not even close - so why put last gen mobile tech in to a high end professional desktop product ? Especially considering the likelihood of VR proliferation in content creation - I couldn't justify buying this just because of that considering the price tag.
alva 3 days ago 1 reply      
Surface Dial looks very, very cool. Innovation in the HCI space is greatly welcome. Could not find any info on whether you can use 2 at the same time. That could have some incredible applications!
Osiris 3 days ago 5 replies      
The two things that Macbooks have had over Windows laptops, in my opinion, is high resolution screens and a fantastic trackpad.

Windows laptops, even on the high end, still tend to screens no better than 1080p and crappy touchpads. My wife hates the touchpad so much she always uses a mouse and has the trackpad disabled.

I just got an HP Elite x2, which is basically a Surface Pro and I really like the pen and touch input. Apple pioneered touch on the iPhone, but continues to refuse to add it to <del>OS X</del> macOS.

d3ckard 3 days ago 1 reply      
Great hardware, interface ideas look really interesting too. This could actually be some vision that can get mainstream in the future.

I would seriously consider buying one, if not for one thing - OS. After recently installing Windows on Bootcamp I can honestly say that I hate the thing. It made me swear constantly for 15 minutes. I wish MS finally wrote a new OS from scratch. They seem to have the right idea about where to go, but Windows looks like a 40 year old after series of plastic surgeries - it's supposed to look young and modern, but after you get passed the surface you can see all those menus that are almost two decades old.

justinsaccount 3 days ago 2 replies      
Would be nice to be able to buy that and the display separately.
PascLeRasc 3 days ago 1 reply      

What happened at 2:25-26 with a Mac named Studio Admin?

artursapek 3 days ago 4 replies      
The hardware quality gap between Windows machines and Macs is closing quickly thanks to Microsoft's investments lately
jordache 3 days ago 2 replies      
this is true innovation.

mean while.. an OLED stripe.. aghem.. a Razer keyboard

elorant 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well hell did froze. Who would have thought that wed live the day that Microsoft is launching a product specifically aimed at designers. This was supposed to be Apples turf for decades.
schuke 3 days ago 0 replies      
Absolutely love all Panos Panay's demos. It's truly "Nobody Does It Better".
hatsunearu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't believe people are complaining about this thing! This is what the Studio is up against: https://www.amazon.com/Wacom-Cintiq-27QHD-Creative-Display/d...

Look at the damn thing, shitty (i presume) TFT display, no capacitive touch (i think), and no computer attached.

This is a great value proposition to those kind of people. Though if this had a gaming tier GPU and a bit better specs this would be literally _the_ machine.

qihqi 3 days ago 1 reply      
As a software eng. this is not something I need. I have realized that because computers are designed and programmed by engineers, we had what we need from the very beginning. I am glad that now its designer's turn to get some tools.
uniclaude 3 days ago 1 reply      
As with other recent Microsoft devices, I feel like:

- This computer looks very good

- The specs look more than decent (skylake, 32gb ram...)


- It's going to be poorly distributed (at least where I live, in Asia). I'm not even expecting a synchronized worldwide release.

- I'll have a hard time working in an Unix-friendly environment (the only reason why I bought macs so far)

- I wouldn't be surprised if it's insanely overpriced in Asia (like the Surface Book is)

So I'm pretty sure I'll unfortunately have to pass, and so will most people I work with.

The Microsoft buying experience is horrendous, and that's too bad now that their OS sounds OK, and their hardware is probably the best PC hardware you can get.

protomyth 3 days ago 2 replies      
The video at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/devices/surface-stud... is a bit more informative and shows the Surface Dial in action. I looks like the graphics from an old Blackberry this is the future video[1]. Very cool, since Microsoft's version makes sense and Blackberry's was confusing.

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1KLm4SErdQ

danso 3 days ago 0 replies      
I probably won't buy one of these, just as I didn't buy the first iteration of the Surface, but will definitely consider future iterations. If anything, these products greatly boost my estimation of Microsoft as a brand. If I were still more in my photography/design days, I'd have a hard time resisting buying the Surface Studio (assuming its reviews aren't disastrous. For the past decade I hadn't contemplated buying anything else besides Apple when it comes to PCs. Microsoft has made a great case for how much innovation can still be done in this field.
AaronFriel 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would like to buy just the display, please. A 4500 x 3000 display? That sounds amazing for writing code.
Roboprog 3 days ago 0 replies      
$3000? It had better be really something.

I wonder how well VST synth modules work on it? I like my iPad synth toys, but they are not compatible with Mac.

brandon272 3 days ago 0 replies      
The feedback I am seeing for this product seems generally positive even with a lot of delight from some corners. It will be interesting to compare the feedback for this against tomorrow's feedback regarding the Mac announcement, a pillar of which seems to be the bar they've added to the Macbook Pro.
dingo_bat 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't care about anything else but how come today's high end computers start out with 8gb of ram? That was probably enough 2 years ago. Now it's enough for a net book. My phone has 4gb ram now. And they expect me to pay ~$2500 and get 8gb in a desktop?
silverlight 3 days ago 1 reply      
If I could get this screen (along with it working with the pen and the other accessories) but hook it up to my existing desktop I would be all over it. Even if it was still $2,200. But a 980M is just not going to cut it as my primary graphics card...
rufugee 3 days ago 7 replies      
If it will run Linux, I'll buy one immediately...
ralmidani 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can kind of understand the need for non-upgradable phones and laptops, since they are more useful when they're thinner and lighter. But stationary devices like this and Apple's iMac are unnecessarily wasteful.
fudgy73 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think I'm sold at 3:2 display.
gxs 3 days ago 2 replies      
As a side note, it's amazing to see that despite everyone ragging on apple and claiming superiority to them, they all copy their advertising style.

The copy on the google pixel site and this site are both very obviously apple-ish.

edit: down vote away, doesn't change the fact that these websites scream "we want to be apple". Though I will say, the tides are changing for apple judging by the amount of people hurt by this comment.

gshakir 3 days ago 1 reply      
$3K is very expensive. Looks like they are catering to the iMac market. It should be interesting to compare with tomorrow iMac release lineup.
codingdave 3 days ago 1 reply      
This concept seems to "re-surface" very couple years, and I just cannot get over the first time I saw it... well, saw the mockery of it, at least: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZrr7AZ9nCY
johnwheeler 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's hard following behind Steve Jobs and Apple, but I gotta give this guy props on his salesmanship.
IanDrake 3 days ago 0 replies      
At the end I really expected him to unlatch the screen from the base and walk away with it.

I have no good reason to expect that and I can't imagine that feature would be very useful at this size, but I still expected it for some reason.

usaphp 3 days ago 2 replies      
Poor Cintiq is losing more and more market share with these sort of products.
mars4rp 3 days ago 1 reply      
after reading couple of criticizing comments, I can't stop thinking how this people would have reacted if Apple released exactly the same product!!!
Osiris 3 days ago 0 replies      
it's interesting that they didn't announce the actual screen resolution, just the number of pixels. I found the answer in the ars article : 4500x3000
ggregoire 3 days ago 1 reply      
The video does an amazing job, the product looks great.

I've never tried a Surface: do they have a special screen technology to avoid the fingerprints?

novaleaf 3 days ago 0 replies      
Pretty. Going after the mac market for media creation is a smart move, as that's a big driver of the mac's appeal over windows
PaulHoule 3 days ago 0 replies      
Microsoft is moving in on Apple's turf.
dmtroyer 3 days ago 0 replies      
But does it have a USB port?!

In all seriousness, pretty cool.

corv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Even the table they presented it on looks like it was lifted from an Apple Store...
ommunist 3 days ago 0 replies      
Win10 is too clunky, otherwise the offer is very compelling. But not enough to switch.
Keyframe 3 days ago 0 replies      
DCI-P3 monitor for that price, hot damn! I wonder if it's 100% coverage?
eeyepieinthesky 3 days ago 0 replies      
Dear Microsoft,

Could I just have that display please?


samfisher83 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is there a price anywhere on the page or am I just missing it?


Its mentioned on other site 2999.

johnhenry 3 days ago 0 replies      
A desktop with a rear camera? Interesting...
jlebrech 3 days ago 0 replies      
now if I just code like in Shenzhen IO on it, i'd buy one.
zk00006 3 days ago 1 reply      
afshinmeh 3 days ago 3 replies      
the website feels like someone has copy-pasted apple.com/imac and changed the pictures using Microsoft Frontpage
dorianm 3 days ago 1 reply      
They can do all the marketing they want, I just feel like this is gonna be the buggiest thing I ever used if I tried it.
KayL 3 days ago 1 reply      
It looks great!! But no ethernet port, only 4 USB3. Absolutely not enough for a high-end PC user. It's a bit pricey. Looking forward to see they sell the display apart.
bitmapbrother 3 days ago 0 replies      
$3000 for a machine with anemic specs is going to be a tough sell. Who exactly is this computer for? As for that puck device - I couldn't help but laugh when the presenter, dressed in all black as if attending a funeral, used it to emphasize how passionate his scribbles were on a document. Who does that? Who would ever do that? And more importantly, who ever thought this would be something you would even want to devote time to demo?
math0ne 3 days ago 2 replies      
I don't understand who this product is for, someone who is not a PC enthusiast but has 3000$ to spend on a PC? I guess the target audience is like high end design studios that need to outfit their stylish new office with matching computers that no one will ever use because all the real work happens at home on people's macbooks at home.

That said I love the dial thingy, I think it has some great ideas behind it and is potentially also a nod to the incredibly popular Griffin powermate which I believe is still a popular product.

sergiotapia 3 days ago 2 replies      
A shame the OS is just terrible. Windows 10 is so hostile to me as a user, constantly pestering me about updates or missing DLL files. Bleh. I installed Plex in January, today after not booting my machine for about a month, I wanted to watch a video and got some random DLL missing.

How a DLL can go missing while the box is turned off is a mystery to me, but there you go. I don't trust my Windows box.

I trust my iMac much much more.

Instapainting From $4k in debt to $32k/mo in passive revenue with no employees indiehackers.com
623 points by chrischen  3 days ago   267 comments top 36
qwrusz 3 days ago 5 replies      
Congrats on the success. Thanks for sharing the business story too.

Disclaimer: this is not a paid endorsement. I don't know Chris. But I happen to be a customer - having bought a painting as a gift. It is framed on the wall at this moment.

My only feedback. Your prices felt too inexpensive. Knowing something was handmade I would have paid more than I did. I'm sure you have researched the market and margins and all that, just letting you know my experience.

Also the artist being from China aspect that other comments are mentioning, almost everything we own is made in China, and the location or nationality of an artist shouldn't be any different than other types of work. Also there are some darn good artists in China, check Youtube for examples.

Congrats again.

godot 3 days ago 1 reply      
Not sure if I'm missing something or why nobody else has asked this -- the things you've done "for SEO purposes" all seem like full time jobs on their own! Like:

- Building a robot - Neural algorithm AI - Multiplayer 2048 clone

Is there any secret to all of these, like outsourcing or anything, or are you just an insane genius? (which I don't doubt actually..)

OJFord 3 days ago 3 replies      
What's going on with the shipping pricing?

 > Standard delivery (approx 3 weeks) > Guaranteed (+$15) > Within 25 days (+$20) > Within 15 days (+$20)
3 weeks is 21 days, so assuming "guaranteed" just removes the "approx", why would I ever pay more for "within 25"?

Further, why would I ever pay for "within 25" when "within 15" is the same price?

Surely this can be condensed to:

 > Standard delivery (approx 3 weeks) > Guaranteed within 3 weeks (+$15) > Guaranteed within 15 days (+$20)
without changing the effective pricing; while making the options clearer.

chrischen 3 days ago 17 replies      
I can answer any questions, whether about how to get a great Christmas present, or questions about the article!
6stringmerc 3 days ago 0 replies      
How enterprising. It's like the internet's very own Thomas Kinkade as a service. Clever arbitrage of artistic labor markets, that's for sure.
dkrich 3 days ago 8 replies      
The hardest part was actually conveying that it wasn't just some print or photo filter, and this is something I still have difficulty with today.

Curious about whether people care about this. As somebody who takes a lot of pictures, if somebody could produce one of my photos as a painting using Photoshop that was indistinguishable (or close to it) from a person, I really don't think I'd care. From a business perspective, this seems like it would also carry the benefits of scaling better and having better quality control. You could also give the person multiple options (watercolor, oil, impressionist, etc.).

I'm sure the OP knows the market much better than I do, I'm just curious whether going with simulated paintings was ever considered and whether customers really do care about having a person paint it?

sampl 3 days ago 0 replies      
> The hardest part was actually conveying that it wasn't just some print or photo filter, and this is something I still have difficulty with today.

I thought the same thing, maybe because it's called "instapainting"

TekMol 3 days ago 4 replies      

 When the 2048 game came out, I quickly hacked up a 2 player version and placed it under the Instapainting.com domain for SEO purposes.
Does this really work? Does Google think you are a better site for ordering paintings because you host a game? I tend to think Google is smarter by now. In fact, I would expect that Google almost exclusively relies on real user behaviour these days.

avitzurel 3 days ago 1 reply      
"acquiring artists turned out to be far from the hardest part of the business."


I consulted many businesses as an engineer and often times technology can get you so far. You have to "get your hands dirty" and do the work.

Tech is rarely the bottleneck, it's often sales, understanding needs, contracting work to 3rd parties etc...

Kudos to the owner, great job

supersan 3 days ago 0 replies      
Love reading such stories.

Also every interview I've read on indiehackers always has this one advice as the most important one: build quickly, iterate later.

OJFord 3 days ago 3 replies      

 > micro-services, which is crucial in allowing me (the > only developer) to migrate the site to new technologies.
I know it's 5 years old, but I still don't see why it's been so crucial to have kept migrating to "new technologies"?

baccredited 2 days ago 2 replies      
Nonsense. Creating a startup is the opposite of 'passive'. Also the word passive doesn't appear in the article title or text.
rockdiesel 3 days ago 2 replies      
I was pretty close to ordering a gift for the holidays until I saw the charge of $3.00 to NOT appear as a sample on your website. [1]

Why are you making people pay $3.00 to NOT appear in your gallery of samples?

Sorry, but that seems absolutely ridiculous and is a deal breaker for me.

[1] http://imgur.com/a/RMcvV

alistproducer2 3 days ago 1 reply      
Usually I don't like these kinds of pieces, but this one had lots of good examples that anyone could apply. Congrats on your success!
reubano 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congrats on your success! Would you mind outlining how you made it on techcrunch? Also, which subreddits did you find most valuable to generate feedback/promote your site?
panorama 3 days ago 0 replies      
I saw Instapainting when it was launched and casually wondered how well it would do. Years later, I have my answer. Congratulations man, this is awesome to read and I'm really happy for your success!
harrisreynolds 3 days ago 1 reply      
What are the profit margins?
meerkats1 3 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats on the success. Do you have concerns that posting details publicly, including showing internal financial numbers, for a business that has virtually no barrier to entry will invite competition? From the other comments I'm seeing here it looks as though people are already making their plans and running back of the envelope calculations. I would expect at least 5 new competitors to pop up as a result of this post.
galfarragem 2 days ago 3 replies      
Risking to be downvoted, what do SF artists (if you know any) think about this?

I suspect if the founder had a background in art (as me) he would never launch something like this. I would feel ashamed by exploiting already a struggling market (art) and yet being 'painted' as an hero. Despite believing in capitalism, limits should exist.

overcast 3 days ago 0 replies      
"The hardest part was actually conveying that it wasn't just some print or photo filter, and this is something I still have difficulty with today."

I can see how you'd have that problem with the name "Instapainting". If someone didn't describe to me exactly how this works, I would think it was just another photo filter app.

chairmanwow 2 days ago 0 replies      
I actually met Chris a couple of years ago when I was in San Francisco for an internship. We got lunch with a mutual friend. He was excited about the success he was experiencing and inspired me with his confidence about the future.

I'm sure glad to know that he's actually made it.

jimmijazz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Shoes of Prey have done a similar thing here in Australia with shoes. Last year they raised a solid amount of capital to expand into the U.S as well.I wonder, what other industries would the ability to produce unique products in China at scale apply to?
chromaton 3 days ago 0 replies      
Do you have a list of the failed ideas? How many actually did you get to the stage of having a web page for?
googletazer 3 days ago 2 replies      
Great business, congratulations!

Could you elaborate on how your shipping pipeline works from China to US/worldwide? Also if there were any problems shipping works of art, e.g. if I upload a picture of Starry Night, an artist paints that and it is shipped to me, would that cause a problem at the border?

jeremybeckham 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had actually been to your site for the 2x2048 campaign, but never went to the homepage. Seeing this and having just been on vacation with the family made me decide to order a painting for my wife of our children in front of a water fountain that we took last week. Good timing.
redleggedfrog 3 days ago 12 replies      
Ug, is it just me, or does that he took money before actually having anyone to paint the pictures seem unethical? Would people have ordered if they had of known there were no artists as yet, or for that matter the artist were going to be friends of the website owner?
orbitingpluto 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think the oil and mixed media paintings are a great value from the samples.

However, I wasn't to pleased with your monochrome samples however. Some of the samples look like they were made with an EZ-Tracer.

antarrah 3 days ago 1 reply      
I find it amusing how HN readers just believe anything they read about how much people are making. For all we know this might be a guy who's making very little and wanted coverage on indiehackers.com.
caf 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like the way that this article itself is an example of its own main subject (using articles like this to drive SEO for instapainting).
neotek 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well it worked, I just bought a painting.
renafowler 3 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for sharing your story.It's inspiring!
supergirl 3 days ago 0 replies      
I wonder why many of the sites on indiehackers have that chat box popup.
countryqt30 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Majority of traffic is coming from SEO"

What are your primary keywords?

tuananh 3 days ago 0 replies      
HackerNews loves stories like this :D
hiou 3 days ago 6 replies      
themagician 3 days ago 9 replies      
Do you think people know they are paying for cheap Chinese labor when they purchase? If not, do you think they would care?

When I read something like,"100% free-hand painted onto a canvas by a master artist," my impression isn't, "we outsource the painting to cheap Chinese labor." My impression is clearly wrong. I suspect others have this impression though.

I think the concept is cool, but I'm not sure people would be so willing to pay if they knew some desperate artist in China was getting paid below minimum wage to create the artwork. I guess what I'm saying is you are selling the idea of a premium service at a great pricetoo good to be trueand it is, because it's not true.

Or maybe it just doesn't matter. I don't know.

Also, reading this over my tone sounds a little condescending. I don't mean to be. Generally curious what others think about this.

Wikipedia and Internet Archive partner to fix 1M broken links on Wikipedia wikimedia.org
491 points by The_ed17  3 days ago   100 comments top 15
jacquesm 3 days ago 5 replies      
In the long term the internet archive will likely be the major supplier of references to Wikipedia. Webpages don't live forever, hopefully the internet archive does. It's an extremely valuable resource, the archive and wikipedia are amongst the most valuable digital assets we have.
eriknstr 3 days ago 2 replies      
The archive.is guy provides mirrors of rotten links to Wikipedia also, although not as the result of any official agreement with Wikipedia, just on his own initiative, which I think was nice of him.

Enclyclopedia Dramatica is generally not a reputable source of truth, being the site that it is, but while looking for some more information on archive.is mirroring of links from Wikipedia articles, I found an article on ED that I found interesting. It is heavily advocating one side of the story but at least it backs it up with some links, which is rather seldom on ED (most links on ED usually go to other pages on ED in my experience).


shortformblog 3 days ago 0 replies      
Excellent news. Should note that today is the 20th anniversary of the Internet Archive: https://blog.archive.org/2016/10/26/making-the-web-more-reli...
qwertyuiop924 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm really glad this is happening. Wikipedia needs to clean up their broken links, and this could help the archive get a wider sampling of websites, so as to preserve more data.

Websites going offline is a huge problem. For example, the now-famous thread from which sleepsort originated (on 4chan's /prog/ textboard) isn't archived anywhere: textboard threads are immortal, so nobody thought to archive any threads until dis.4chan.org went down for good.

Thankfully, some bright spark managed to save the sqlite databases for most of the boards on dis to the Internet Archive, so I was able to track down the thread eventually.

pmiller2 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is a huge step forward for Wikipedia as an authoritative source of information. Glad to see this happening. :)

OT: I considered applying to the Internet Archive last time I was looking for work, but their office is too hard to commute to coming from the East Bay. :(

ideonexus 2 days ago 1 reply      
This whole discussion reminds me of how all MySpace content was destroyed in a rash corporate decision years ago. Just like that, five years of the most popular social networking site on the World Wide Web and all its history were wiped out:


Unfortunately, the Internet Archive was only able to get the non-logged-in version of the site. All those loud, obnoxious profile pages users spent endless hours working on? We only have oral histories now to remember them.

caf 3 days ago 0 replies      
It'd be great if StackOverflow approached the Internet Archive about doing the same for their broken links, too.
sengork 3 days ago 1 reply      
Internet Archive should look into distributed models such as IPFS for storage of the archived sites.
felipesabino 2 days ago 0 replies      
As I have clicked in several broken links already, I am wondering how many, absolute number or in percentage, per article are likely to be broken

I might be way off, but doesn't 1M seems like a low number for wikipedia size? What is that in percentage of total number of links? Does anyone know?

youdontknowtho 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. I really love the internet archive as a project. This is a great usage. Looking forward to see how that will work out.

I wonder if they will publish a list of replaced links after the fact?

h1d 2 days ago 1 reply      
What's blocking Wikipedia to just archive the referenced pages on edit?

It would be far more reliable than depending on Internet Archive when it may not have the page archived and more likely the time of the archive would differ from the time it was referenced.

It would cost some more disk space and bandwidth, which of course is already pressuring them but in turn would greatly improve usability and reliability.

raverbashing 2 days ago 1 reply      
One corner case that exists: a content is linked on Wikipedia, this content is taken down due to a copyright violation

(I suppose Archive.org would be asked to take the content down)

torrent-of-ions 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why does the headline says "to fix 1M broken links" but the article says it's already been done?
45h34jh53k4j 3 days ago 0 replies      
(red heart)(yellow heart)(green heart)(blue heart) Internet Archive (red heart)(yellow heart)(green heart)(blue emoji)

There are fewer more noble pursuits than archiving the sum of human knowledge.

alecco 2 days ago 0 replies      
On a side note, it makes me very sad how Wikipedia editors are often pushing some political agenda. I'm relying on it for less and less topics. Clearly nothing that can be affected by US politics or SJW-style controversies.
New MacBook Pro Is Not a Laptop for Developers Anymore devteam.space
505 points by alexeysemeney  1 day ago   756 comments top 147
ericjang 1 day ago 31 replies      
I dislike this post intensely. The opinion comes across as uncharitable, as the author probably has not used this Macbook Pro yet. How can you (alexeysemeney) be so sure?

I consider myself a developer, and I almost never use the Fn and ESC keys on my Mac. Everybody uses the computer differently, but I'm pretty sure this is not a deal-breaker for most. One could also argue that the touch bar might lead to innovative developer tools, such as timeline interfaces for Replay Debugging. There are already a lot of applications in the content creation (Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya) space, which developers frequently use to create assets.

mikeash 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm always amazed at how techies are so often unable to consider other people's points of view. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but no.

If you don't like the new design, that's totally fine. I've seen a lot of people saying that. But when you say that the new design is bad for everybody, or bad for millions of people you haven't met, based solely on your own personal reasons, you've lost it.

I'm a developer. The only reason I'm not buying one of these is because what I currently have is just fine, and I don't feel like spending the money. The touch bar looks really cool. It might not end up being very useful, but I think I'd like to have it. If it's not useful, well, no big deal.

Function keys? Never use 'em. Escape key? Having it available as a touch button doesn't seem like a major problem. If it turns out to be, then I'll learn or configure some other shortcut for it and get on with my life.

Now, that's just me. Your opinion may differ, and that's fine. I just ask you to have the same attitude. It's silly to say that this machine "is not a laptop for developers." It's not a laptop for you, apparently, and for people with similar needs and opinions. But not all developers are you.

jws 1 day ago 9 replies      
Bah, these entitled kids. I guess being old enough to remember keyboards before they had escape keys helps, but is just keyboard syntactic sugar for control left square bracket. Read your ASCII table! C-[ is even a quicker type avoiding RSIs from all those long pinky reaches.

(More seriously, as much as it bothers me to retrain my pinky, most uses of the escape key would be many times better if the lefthand side of the touch bar had a word for the function, like stop being full screen, cancel, leave menu, or whatever. The function would then be discoverable instead of secret lore.)

slg 1 day ago 11 replies      
This doesn't even get into the dongle problem. The simplest example is that if you want to hook up Apple's flagship phone up to their flagship laptop for development, you need a dongle. And if you want to share one of their flagship wired headphones between the two devices, you need another dongle. Therefore if you want to connect three of Apple's flagship devices together on a daily basis, you can't go anywhere without bringing at least two dongles with you.
laddng 1 day ago 4 replies      
I've had a good, satisfying run with MacBook Pros, but now I'm stepping off the Apple train. I understand that Apple is trying to go in a new direction with the new MacBook Pros, and I won't complain about it. I am now simply moving to an Arch Linux setup on an old Lenovo Thinkpad Carbon X1 to continue living inside the Terminal.
rayiner 1 day ago 14 replies      
Honest question: what's the alternative? I've got a 2013 rMBP 15 inch. What's my next machine? I'm not willing to regress on display (220 ppi or better), screen size, or battery life (8-9 hours real use). I might regress on quad core to dual core if everything else is perfect.

EDIT: The XPS 15 gets more like 5-6 hours with the high res display by my understanding. The Surface Book has the right combination of resolution and battery life, but 15.4" to 13.5" is a big step down if you're used to working with side by side windows. Is there anything out there I've overlooked?

ObjectiveSub 1 day ago 3 replies      
You immediately lost any credibility when you complained that the 2.4 GHz processor is the "same" as the one back in 2010. Clock rate has nothing to do with performance these days. Skylake is 25-35% faster across the board (and multiples faster for number crunching) than whatever Nehalem or Core2 was in the Macbooks in 2010.
nartsbtaa 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's room for debate about the new Macbook Pro, but this post is bad.

#1 - The touch bar is dynamic and contextual. It's likely that you can enable the traditional ESC/Fx row when you're using Terminal, your editor, etc. It's extremely unlikely that the ESC key is gone forever, given that existing software relies on it.

#2 - RAM is a valid point, but this part is wrong/dishonest: "The MacBook Pro had options with 2.4 gigahertz dual-core processors back in 2010. Anything new in 2016? Not really, well... nope." The 13" MBP now has a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, upgradable to 3.3 GHz. The 15" MBP now has a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7.

#3 - So there are four negative snarky people on Twitter. Not a surprise. And they're just repeating issues #1 and #2.

This is a garbage post. A much better critical article is linked here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12817332

shenanigoat 1 day ago 7 replies      
Dramatic click bait IMO. You could really hack that touchbar to do some great productivity enhancements.
blowski 1 day ago 7 replies      
I was waiting for the new Macbook Pros as I need to buy a new laptop, and was going to give my old Macbook Pro (2014 model) to my wife. But given that they have nothing of value (I don't care about gimmicks like the new touch bar), I've decided to abandon Mac and go back to Linux.

I'm just a typical web developer, running a bunch of virtual machines, and an IDE. Any recommendations? I saw the Dell XPS 15 for around 1,300:https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018FSX9GA/

Any others? I'm not a Linux diehard, so I'd probably go with Ubuntu.

azmenak 1 day ago 2 replies      
As a developer and an Apple user for last decade, this has certainly been the most disappointing Keynote I've ever seen from Apple. I do think, however, some of these concerns are overblown.

If you're a VIM user and haven't tried overriding the Caps Lock key to be an Esc key, you should give it a try, it has made VIM a much better experience for many people.

On the memory side, doing development work I can hardly think of a time when 16GB was limiting on the RAM side, and I hardly notice the performance hit when using swap on the incredibly fast SSD.

And the processors have definitely improved, I'm currently running a 15" MBP Late 2013 at 2.0GHz. The new base models are starting on newer architecture at 2.7GHz.

Having said that, I'm still not sure whether I'm going to be upgrading any time soon...

dvcrn 1 day ago 1 reply      
To be honest, the only thing that's causing me to say it's not a "developer machine" is the keyboard. It features the same butterfly switches that the 12" MacBook has and my good are they horrible. I seriously can't imagine writing long sessions of code with this mushy keyboard.

I don't get it. With the new touch bar and stereo speakers they WANT us to use the MacBook as is, without external keyboard and then they give us these dreadful switches that almost feel like you're pressing a sheet of paper.

I understand that for the 12" MacBook they wanted a machine as thin as possible and the keyboard was too thick. But why oh why ok the pro lineup.

I actually REALLY really liked the type feeling of MacBook keyboards

ixtli 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sadly this seems to be the same old pile-on that happens after every apple product announcement:

> #1. No Escape and function keys [...] The Escape and Function keys on the laptops have been abandoned in favor of a touch bar that changed depending on the application that is being used.

They went out of their way to display the escape key and many other contextual keys with Terminal.app in the foreground They did this despite it being possibly the least "sexy" demonstration of the hardware. This article seems to have been written after skimming some reporting on the keynote without researching the specifics.


hellofunk 1 day ago 1 reply      
> This isnt to say that the touch bar is an inherently bad idea. You could locate it on top of the Esc and function keys instead of eliminating them entirely! Something like this: <image>

Not that there aren't worthy talking points in this article, but it's really annoying when a blogger has the arrogance to photoshop some keyboard image together and proclaim it's a better design than what a gigantic company carefully came up with.

Apple has its own reasons for doing things and they aren't going to please everybody, but does this Alexey Semeney fellow actually think Apple didn't consider all the possibilities before removing a whole bunch of keys from the keyboard? Apple might be a lot of things, but careless is not usually one of them.

cypres 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's funny they bring up devs using vim, because the only vim key they removed is Esc, which a lot of vim devs remaps to caps-lock or similar anyways.

I almost never use the F keys, so if they kept the Esc key but removed the rest it would be perfect :)

mschip 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm no Apple fanboy nor apologist, but this sentiment is everywhere and overtly dramatic. They continue to provide a 13" model with function keys as an alternative. If that machine isn't fast enough you probably aren't a "developer" anyways. Also, I rarely use the keyboard on my mac because I use it on a stand with an additional monitor. If you want to complain about the new Mac, complain about price or the fact that the touch bar is unusable in an ergonomic setting, just don't act like you can't still use VIM.
solatic 1 day ago 3 replies      
Lenovo introduced a Touch Bar (Adaptive Keyboard strip) in the Thinkpad X1 Carbon in 2014. It flopped so hard that Lenovo pulled it and reinstituted a normal function row in the 2015 refresh.

Why does Apple get a pass? No physical keys means not being able to find functionality by touch alone means no muscle memory means no productivity. This isn't a hypothesis, this is a proven market reaction to Lenovo's design choices.

Alex3917 1 day ago 1 reply      
Currently every time I open iTerm, I need to change directory into my project, spin up my virtual env, and then initialize some stuff within my virtualenv.

Now I can map those commands to icons in the toolbar, rather than having to page through the history command each time. How is that not a huge improvement for developers? Any time you can replace a command or alias with a visual icon that's a significant reduction in cognitive overhead.

While the fact that you can only get 16 gigs of RAM is annoying, the fact that the SSD is 50% faster at least ameliorates this somewhat. And the fact that there are seemingly several low hanging fruit things that Apple can make to improve the product, while annoying to people like me who needed to purchase one of these today, at least shows that they will probably continue to make improvements to the lineup.

AdmiralAsshat 1 day ago 4 replies      
It's worth noting that only the higher-end of the new MBP's have the Touch Bar. The lower end still has a traditional function row:


So I suppose in theory if you wanted something new but without breaking your workflow, you could just go for that one.

kelsus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had to scroll pretty far down the page to get to comments that weren't about the escape and function keys and vim. It's the other stuff that really matters. In 2007 and 08 when Jobs was alive there was absolutely no question that MBPs were the absolute best laptops in the world. There were maybe a few huge gamer laptops with faster specs, but nothing had excellent specs in such a small and well build package. This is no longer the case.

If I were NVidia I'd be making a very big deal that not even the initial development of that cool new depth of field stuff on iPhone 7 could be done on any Apple computer.

Another major point is that this thread says apple is leaving developers behind. Sure it might only be leaving VR, gaming, and AI developers behind, but wait, where is the industry going?

More fuel for the fire. Apple proudly claims they have the biggest gaming platform in the world with iPhone. They just lucked into it. They never purposefully set out to make a gaming platform. But now that they have it they should own it. Imagine how thrilled the world would have been if Cook had stood on stage and said something like "and now for the first time ever because of this amazing new GPU, you can play your favorite games on your Macbook Pro on ultra at 60 frames per second." It would have blown the doors off Apple stock. Macbook Pro is about PRO users not about executives that need 13 hours of battery life to give Keynote presentations. People would have been completely happy with even a little increase in width and weight and decrease in battery life for the sake of a major performance upgrade in memory and GPU.

ameesdotme 1 day ago 1 reply      
> The MacBook Pro had options with 2.4 gigahertz dual-core processors back in 2010. Anything new in 2016? Not really, well nope.

I find it very hard to believe that these processors perform on the same level as the ones in 2010. Equal cores / GHz does not mean equal performance.

suprgeek 1 day ago 2 replies      
What they could have done (one or more):

1) Bezel-less display

2) Full Touch screen

3) Detachable Screen - IPad Pro +

4) Stylus input (from Apple Pencil)

5) 15-20 hr battery life

6) NVidia Graphics

7) 64 Gb Ram option

8) Kept the HDMI & SDXC port

What they did do:

1) Gimmicky Touch bar - Useless when you close the MBP & Dock; Hard to do for touch typists

2) Hiked the prices by crazy margins

3) Pegged the RAM at 16 Gb Max

4) Battery is not much better

5) All in on USB-C - Get ready for Dongle-o-rama

Feels like a pure greedy money grab with nothing to justify it. Steve must be spinning in his grave.

otterley 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think there are some technological limitations behind the 16GB maximum RAM configuration. The highest-density DDR3 DRAM packages I could find that run at the rated speed are 8 gigabits, which means 16 chips are required on the board. There probably just isn't enough room there for 16 more chips.

16-gigabit packages are slowly arriving on the market, but I imagine it'll be a couple more years before they're available at the right speed and sufficient quality/quantity to include in a future MBP model.

mindcrash 1 day ago 1 reply      
> #1. No Escape and function keys

The new MacBook Pro has Escape and function keys. You just need to summon them now if you want them. Phil Schiller even showed this in the demo!

Also, context aware actions are much more useful. You saw that they even included a whole set for developers (and XCode) right? And you can bet other tools will soon follow.

> #2 Power. Almost no improvement for RAM and a processor

That it doesnt have a new CPU is not Apple's fault. It's Intels. Apple wants their professional equipment to have at least a quadcore processor. The latest generation Intel processors, Kaby Lake, currently only has dual core processors available which is a absolute disaster for people who actually need fast multicore processing. So because of this they used a Skylake quadcore. Which IMO isnt a disaster since it is still the fastest quadcore x86 CPU architecture out there.

Regarding RAM I think 16 Gigs is more than enough for any purpose.

the_mitsuhiko 1 day ago 4 replies      
Honestly, the only thing I will miss is the escape button but that was misplaced on the keyboard anyways. 10.12.1 added support for making caps lock into an escape key and that's if anything an improvement over where escape was before.
jpalomaki 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't really blame Apple for not coming up with faster CPU. Things have changed and the times when you got the double speed every few years are over. And I don't know if it is actually a bad thing. This means your hardware does not get old so fast and there's less reasons to update every two years.

The article also claims that you can get comparable hardware from any other vendor for for $1.5k. I wish this was true. Unfortunately it is not at all easy to find good alternatives for Macbook Pro. Even if you don't put limit on the budget. Especially when you limit the search for quad core CPUs, there's not that much choice (HP ZBook, Dell XPS, Lenovo T460P or P50). And then you are still stuck with Windows or can you get one of those with Linux pre-installed and supported?

happywolf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am a developer and I have a mechanical keyboard hooked up to the rig, so I seldom use the mac keyboard anyway. My main complaint would be the hardware doesn't seem to get better. The USB-C ports I do see them coming, but given my 2014 MBP is still running strong, I will hold on to upgrade for a little longer.

Nah, I am completely out from Linux around 5 years ago. Had spent my fair share of time and effort (~10years) using Linux, solving some corner cases that hit me along the way. To me, using Linux is just like driving on a highway with sink holes sprinkled along, the ride will be gay and smooth _until_ you hit those holes. Either you fix those yourself (It is open-source remember!?) or hope for some kind souls to help out.

Thanks but thanks...

davesque 1 day ago 0 replies      
Isn't that image with the red 'ESC' and 'F1' text not an official Apple image but an image that was made by speculating Apple fans during the lead up to the official product launch? It seems dishonest and manipulative to use that image to make the point that Apple has completely eliminated the escape key. Official Apple images might have featured the touch escape key in that position on the touch bar, weakening the author's argument. Even though I'm also not a fan of the latest Macbooks, it's dumb to stretch the truth to make your point.
geophile 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not just the function and escape keys.

- The rollout of USBC has been a mess. Apparently you now need to purchase a separate cable to connect your iphone to the new MBP.

- I haven't tried the new keyboard, but from what I've read, it is less like the old MBP keyboard, which was quite good, and more like the awful MacBook keyboard.

- The generally horrible design of their major desktop apps.

- The disaster that is Apple's cloud strategy. Too many ids, too difficult to know what is physically where and how to get it where you want.

I haven't yet played with the new MBP, but I am seriously wondering whether my current MBP is my last one.

geodel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Strange arguments in threads about new MBP. It is well known much more powerful laptop computers are available to developers for many many years. It is the nice combination of weight/size/screen/touchpad and Unix like OS all in one package that made people look beyond relative shortcomings. Individually none of the feature may be best but all above average together in one machine is not so common.

Advanced users might very well buy an objectively better computer than Apple's if they so wish. People are reacting as if Apple mandated touch bar in all computers in market.

guelo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everybody is talking about the ESC key but I think the function keys are even worse. My editor has tons of fn key bindings and I touch type them without looking down many times a day. You can imagine being able to touch type a virtual ESC key since it would hopefully be at the far edge of the strip, but for fn you'll have to look down every time.

Let's face it, the bean counters at Apple only care about the iPhone. They've put their b teams to work on the Macs. And the engineers at Apple that actually have to use the laptops obviously have no say.

kylebenzle 1 day ago 1 reply      
All Lenovo would need to do is start supporting Unbuntu on their ThinkPad line and Apple would be in big trouble overnight. With then Thinkpads they are doing the opposite, locking Linux users out instead!
hellofunk 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'd like to see stats on how my VIM users actually still use the ESC key. Most (including me) have mapped this to Caps-lock a long time ago because the Esc key for a long time has not been in the same place on any keyboard as it was when VIM was originally created.
mamon 1 day ago 2 replies      
Fn keys are heavily used in Intellij and Eclipse. Basically, that OLED strip is a "no go" for me. I'm trying to decide between buying Dell XPS 13 right away or waiting for XPS 15 refresh. Any other suggestions are welcomed.
heisenbit 1 day ago 0 replies      
Who is buying these new MacBook Pro's? Serious where the heck do the guys in Apples Mac division see the market?

- Developers? Not excited. Disk speed better that is relevant. CPU less so. But ESC and RAM not acceptable if anyone is looking into a machine to last 3 years.

- Gamers? PCs offer a better price / performance relationship.

- Personal users? Win10 vs. OSX has advanced a lot compared to Win XP vs OSX. Secure enclave to make Apple Pay purchases? With what money after buying the laptop?

- Managers? At this price point? Maybe the show-off kind in the C suite.

- Employees? It would make sense as it is cheaper to support but at this price penetration into the enterprise - which is all the Apple/IBM relationship is about has no chance.

One of the challenges running businesses that are in different markets where one has a different market position is dealing with the very different margins. Laptops everywhere else except in Apple land are low margin. IOS is high margin but it is in an exceptional position. Pretending that Macs are in the same is foolish.

Missteps can happen. I'm sure it will show in sales. Let's just hope they are able to adjust course quickly enough.

landonalder 1 day ago 2 replies      
While the RAM complaints are valid, I don't know anyone who actually uses their laptop keyboard for serious development. Almost all of these laptops spend 90% of their time docked somewhere with a real keyboard hooked up.
trymas 1 day ago 0 replies      
> The MacBook Pro had options with 2.4 gigahertz dual-core processors back in 2010. Anything new in 2016? Not really, well nope.

I feel the OP's disappointment but oh my.. does he really do not understand that cpu's clock speed is not the main comparing factor between processors?

It's like saying he will not buy a car with 2.0L engine, because they were making such capacity engines 50years ago

aethos 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have to say, this feels like a lazy hype-train post. Everyone is complaining about the lack of the esc key, but I'm sure it won't be so bad. It does depend somewhat on how integrations work with the bar. I could imagine hopping between files and functions in your IDE using the bar. And surely you would be able to map the section where esc was to esc?
noob--dev 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Mixed feelings about this. Everyone says: "if you dont like MBP there are dozens of options in these brands" etc. That leaves you basically: Linux or Windows.

If you are a 100% developer, Linux is obviously the option to go. But if you happen to be a hybrid and use some kind of design graphic tools, such as anything from Adobe, then you are forced to stay with Windows.

The new Surface Book looks awesome, but its running Windows 10! 16GB of ram means nothing under window. The whole system itself needs those 16GB and eventually it becomes a dinosaur that will expand itself and use the 1TB of space you put in there.

Want it or not, so many people are still forced to stay with Apple for those reasons, and they know it. They can literally do whatever they want and these people will have to keep using MBP.

musesum 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've bought every single MBP since 2007, when I switched over from Windows to focus on iOS. This may be the first one I skip. Not sure.

PRO: My muscle memory is solidly in the MacOS+Xcode camp. Switching from ctrl key to command key for basic operations resulted in my RSI injury going away. Why? My guess: because the thumb is now the pivot point for commands, instead of the pinky. As a result, my hands splay inwards instead of outwards. Back during my MS-Win days, the solution was to get a split keyboard for the desktop. No longer need that.

CON: The main problem a dynamic set of keys is that you have to look at them. Each eye saccade wastes 200 milliseconds. I also assign app shortcuts with cmd-option-fn and use divvy + cmd-option-fn to assign reorganize window placement.

Plus, I wanna play with ML using CUDA. Am missing the Nvidia GPU that came with my 2013 MBP.

dorianm 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is a MacBook with escape and functions keys still available. So the choice is still there.

Personally I think the touch bar could be great for programmers so I'm gonna take that.

andrethegiant 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't understand the lack of escape/function keys argument. Isn't the touch bar powered by software? Can't you put whatever keys you want there? It's sounding to me like the argument from people who were opposed to a touchscreen mobile keyboard.
rbanffy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I get it may not be the laptop for the developer who wrote the article, but I see no big issue with the new Macbook Pro.

I want a well-built laptop with a decent Unix-like OS, long battery life and a good screen and keyboard for when I'm not on my desk. When I'm on my desk, which is most of the time, I have a big screen and a keyboard attached. If I really cared about portability, I probably could get by with a MacBook.

TB3 promises a single cable to connect the screen, keyboard and power. I like that (I currently connect 2). Will I need to get a new monitor? Yes. It happens every couple years anyway. I once had a wonderful Intergraph CRT that could go all the way up to 2048x1536 and I miss it, but things change and we eventually move on.

blinkingled 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm sure the Touch Bar can be integrated with MacVim or VS Code etc to show keys that just look like regular Fn keys - that's not the problem developers would be irked of - it's just another thing to hack.

Really problematic however is that the 15" starts at $2399, is still capped at 16GB soldered RAM, the port situation isn't convenient (esp if you've an iPhone), the obsession with thinness continues at the expense of battery life and if you had to ding the Touch Bar it feels gimmicky.

There are much better games in PC town - don't even need to run Linux if you're not into it - Windows 10 is pretty good and with Ubuntu/bash built in, install a X server you're good to go.

po-tee-weet 1 day ago 0 replies      
What a terrible article. It compares how the processor speed has remained the same from 2008 without mentioning the architectural changes.

There are reasons why I think the new macbook is less suited for developers, but not these reasons. This article is entirely misleading.

jkrems 1 day ago 1 reply      
Since the article doesn't even mention that the escape functionality is still there (although it's no longer a physical key but a touch button), I'm going to assume that its only source is jokes on twitter.
mamcx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you remember "Human Interface"?

Moving to touch-screen for thing that need to be tactile is a betrayal of the ergonomics of a laptop. Is as demand the use of a mouse in a iPad. Is not what the machine is.

I think the touch pad is a nice gimmick, and maybe, could be get some useful applications. But the removal of the Esc + F-Keys break a lot of the workflows. This is also the trend of make keyboards worse and worse with each iteration.

Is ironic that people demand good touch pad and complain when is bad, but think is ok when the keyboards get worse.

kaolinite 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm on mobile so not sure if anyone else has pointed this out but Apple mentioned in the keynote that the escape key is still present when using the terminal. There is also a way to bring up the full row of function keys.

Personally I think this is the great advantage of the touch bar. The only app that I personally use the Esc key in has it available, but all other apps use the space for more appropriate shortcuts. Plus it can be customised too (finally I can add a screenshot button!), although not per app yet, as far as I can tell.

zitterbewegung 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do we really need 10 blog posts basically saying the same thing with extremely low effort on the frontpage?
satysin 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Esc key is annoying but not a big deal for me. What I am worried about is the new butterfly switches. I have used a MacBook with butterfly switches quite a bit and it is not a nice writing experience. It feels like I am using a Blackberry or old Nokia phone.

With Bash on Ubuntu on Windows I think my next machine will be a Dell XPS 15 or ThinkPad T560. Probably the Dell as it comes with a quad-core for like 50 more. Plus a nicer screen (according to reviews).

acdha 1 day ago 0 replies      
This seems like a combination of trolling for page-views and begging the question of whether your personal tastes are universally shared.

Nobody has even used the touch bar yet so we don't know how well the escape + function key mode works for the average developer, or how often the wins of other features (e.g. the dedicated man page button shown in the screenshots, the kinds of context-sensitive things something like a debugger, browser dev tools, etc. could do, etc.) would balance out the lost of a physical key.

There's a small mistake in assuming that the quad-core 2.4GHz processor you got in 2010 is exactly the same as the 2016 Skylake version, and I think that masks a much larger question: how many people actually need more CPU or even RAM? Some developers definitely do if you're working with a 20GB model, there's no alternative but a large number don't.

For me, most of my development laptop hardware requirements plateaued somewhere around the MacBook Air somewhere around the 2010-12 range because this thing called the cloud happened and most of the work which can't be done on a small laptop with an SSD also isn't a good fit for a slightly larger laptop. Everything else I'd look for are different areas like screen size.

mediter 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The author is just complaining, but has not done any amount of in-depth analysis of the feasibility of customizing the touch bar in the apps developers use!
dpc_pw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Surprisingly for myself I'm going to write a comment defending Apple somewhat.

First specs - are we real tech people, or ignorant crowd? RAM is not only the amount of it. Previous MacBooks had 1066MHz memories, current one 1866MHz/2133MHz. And CPU power is not only the frequency. I have upgraded my desktop from 5 year old i7 to new i7. Both have similar frequencies and number of cores, but new one supports faster buses (like memory) and is in fact noticeably faster!

I am a big Vim/Neovim/Spacemacs user and I have CapsLock mapped to Esc. And you should do to, before you develop problems with your hands.

Now, would I buy new MacBook Pro? Hell no. I didn't back then, and I won't now. I'll keep my Linux box. And that touch bar is silly. But all these crying is so silly, and I think mostly motivated by trying to attract audience on your blogs and get some publicity.

whalesalad 1 day ago 2 replies      
The new TouchBar is fully defeatable and can behave exactly like an old school fn key row.

This post is totally devoid of substance and should actually be flagged.

xbryanx 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm always confused by the interface outrage from hard core devs around new laptops. As a dev, I spend the absolute minimum time possible developing by interfacing with my MacBook itself. 98% of the time I'm plugged into a mechanical keyboard, giant monitors, and a real sound system. My MacBook sits to the side and only gets touched when I'm on an airplane or a meeting.
bitwize 1 day ago 6 replies      
So use an editor that supports a modern UI, like Sublime Text or Atom, and not something originally designed for an ADM-3A terminal.
PerfectElement 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm thinking about getting a Surface Book for my next laptop, since I've been spending a lot of time on Parallels using Visual Studio.

My only concern is the tracking pad. Is it possible to replicate the 3 and 4 finger gestures using the Surface Book trackpad? I don't think I can live without swiping to move between desktops.

rch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not a fan of the bar, but I'd really like mechanical keys with individual oled screens on the fn row.
tibbon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Aside from cost, is there any reasonable technical reason to not have 32/64GB options available? My desktop in 2000 had 2GB of ram, and I'm shocked that 16 years later my laptop maxes at 16GB. I remember in 2009 building a server with 32GB and the memory was only a few hundred for decent ECC RAM.
mrsheen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Linux/Mac/Vim/Emacs user here. Every ui/hardware update yields wave of discontent. People will always complain if they have to change their habits.Alexey don't tell me that you cannot live without these keys :) Re. unchanged performance - 95% of us don't need more.
leejo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a long time vim user, and i have the following in my .vimrc:

 nnoremap <F2> T nnoremap <F3> t nnoremap <F4> set invnumber<CR> nnoremap <F5> N<CR> nnoremap <F6> n<CR>
So you think i'd be annoyed about the culling of the Esc and function keys? Not really, mac keyboards are terrible for typing IMO/IME so i always have an external one hooked up.

The lack of decent updates to the RAM and CPU bug me more given the price increase. Here i am running 5 VMs so that's sucking up almost 1/2 of my 16GB of RAM. Chrome is eating a good chunk of the rest and i don't have many long lived tabs.

And at home i have over 500GB of photos alone so would like a machine that doesn't have a tiny storage option as the default config. But alas...

nfriedly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a developer with a 2-year-old macbook pro right now, and while I'm not going to run out and buy a brand new one right now, I wouldn't have a problem with the new ones if it were time to upgrade today. I'd have to replace my thunderbolt 2 dock with a thunderbolt 3 one (or maybe just a dongle?), and I'd probably want at least one USB-A dongle, but meh... it doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

I rarely use the function keys, and aside from exiting full-screen youtube videos, I don't use escape all that often either. I can imagine I'd use the new touch bar at least as much as I use that current row of buttons.

I do think it's funny that Macbooks are now standardized on USB-C + headphones, while iPhones aren't.

hashkb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apple has been backing away from power users for years. Ever since they removed dual monitor full screen, imo. My MacBooks don't have Mac OS on them and I'm never buying another one. The premium price used to get you the best product... now it's an accessory.
davej 1 day ago 0 replies      
My understanding is that the escape key is there by default but the active application can choose to override it. I don't need the escape while I'm using Spotify.

I quite like the new Macbooks. Would have been nice to have a 32GB RAM option but I can survive with 16GB to be honest.

JunkDNA 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not to go too far off topic, but I'm surprised at the number of vim users in this thread who still use the escape key and haven't mapped it to something that doesn't require you to move your finger to the most inconvenient spot of the entire keyboard. Sometime 10 years ago I took someone's advice and remapped jj to escape in my vimrc. By far one of the best changes I've ever made. the speed gain is significant (unless your name is JJ Abrams)
askopress 1 day ago 0 replies      
I suppose a front-end developer isn't considered a developer? Linux doesn't work for me as we need Photoshop and Sketch and well, Linux kind of looks ugly as well (with the notable exception of Elementary OS, which tries to be the OS X/macOS of Linux).

It's also mentioned that the ESC key will still be there, and you can map your own keys to the Touch Bar as well, it just won't be a physical key anymore. This generalization that just because you can't use Vim anymore (which you can) the entire MacBook brand is gone to shit (which it hasn't) or worse, that Apple is stupid (it's not).

mrweasel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sure I would like Apple just have kept the keyboard as is, and not having the ESC key is going to take some getting used to, but even as a Vim user it's a solvable problem.

Depending on your workflow and platform choices, you don't even need to upgrade your Macbook Pro, the last to generation are perfectly fine for a very large number of people.

Scott Hanselmans comment that not having a ESC key for Vim is messing with Apple core audience the just plain stupid. The VAST majority of Apple MacBook Pro customer aren't installing Vim.

Only having USB-C connectors seems like pushing it in terms of how fast you can expect users to adapt and it's going to be an adaptor hell for a year or two.

antaviana 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you already have a Mac, the upside of this release of limited machines (up to 16GB) is that it will intrinsically force Mac developers to refrend from designing BigMemory applications.

So if I currently have a 16GB Mac, it is likely that its useful life will be longer than if 32GB or 64GB Macs suddenly become mainstream and you find that your 16GB Mac cannot run anymore the latest and greatest apps so you are forced to buy a new Mac.

This also sort of happens with the Windows ecosystem, where the RAM-based licensing of Windows 10 for OEMs naturally drives manufacturers to offer machines with less RAM so its pricing is more attractive.

bandrami 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like an entire generation of javascript devs is going to have to learn how to do ^[
cerrelio 1 day ago 1 reply      
None of the article's points is relevant.

1. Function keys were a convenience. You can map ESC to other physical keys.

2. 16GB RAM and processor are fine, if you're still able to fit your processing in that configuration. Otherwise you're probably using a laptop as a terminal to a computing cluster (AWS/cloud/etc), which have more computing power and memory than an Apple warehouse.

3. Who cares what people on Twitter are saying.

The MacBook Pro was never meant to be a developer's machine. Any developer with half a brain knows there are more configurable and cheaper laptops out there. MBP is mostly for conspicuous consumption.

malensek 1 day ago 3 replies      
Just curious: how many folks can accurately touch-type the Fn-keys? Personally they're too far away from the home row for me to hit accurately, but maybe that's because I use too many different keyboards and they're all slightly different with spacing. The esc key is easy with it being located in the corner, though.

So in my case, I would already look down to hit an F-key, and I imagine functionality such as "compile" would now be represented by a touch button. So no problem there. And point #2 is just ridiculous -- today's MacBook CPUs and Memory are faster and consume less power than they did 6 years ago.

ohstopitu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was very very against the new Macbook Pro yesterday and I made up my mind to get the new Razer Blade Stealth (for daily computing/dev) and a mac mini (for iOS dev).

But after watching a few first hands-on with it, I intend to give it a try when I can, at the store to see if it's really as bad I've made it out in my head. If I don't mind it too much, I'll probably get the new Macbook pro 15" - i7 quad core/16 GB Ram/256 GB SSD (~ $3000 CAD + tax).

A good night's sleep can give you a new perspective on things.

BTW those who want to utilize Apple's "student discount"...it's around $50 off :/

jlebar 1 day ago 0 replies      

You can configure the touch bar thing.

Let's give it a try before raging over it? Otherwise this and the other recent HN threads may be this year's version of the famous Slashdot "Apple introduces the iPod" thread.

Disruptive_Dave 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is what they call "newsjacking" - and a really bad version of it.
drewg123 1 day ago 2 replies      
My biggest complaint is that they increased the size of the touchpad. I HATE touchpads, as the cursor tends to shoot off into space when I accidentally touch it with the heel of my hand when typing. The last thing I want is a larger touchpad.

If they're going to steal innovations from Thinkpads, I really wish they'd have taken the eraser nub instead. Back when I had a Thinkpad (running linux) as my work laptop, I would just disable the touchpad in the BIOS and use the eraser nub. The eraser nub is the thing I miss most from the thinkpad.

webXL 1 day ago 0 replies      
A physical ESC isn't that important because multiple presses are idempotent usually; there's only one dialog in the foreground of the active application (at least there should be) or you're only in one insert mode. I also don't see this being a big deal for key-combos. As long as it's available in apps that make use of it or Apple let's you enable it, and there's a way for you to learn where it is by touch, this shouldn't be that big of a deal.
christiansmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lack of physical escape key with vi is not a problem for me. An old trick is to remap caps lock (never used) to Ctrl (constantly used), which is easier to reach from "asdfhjkl" hand positioning. Then Ctrl-C is mapped to escape, and I never have to reach up to the fn row from the home row. Makes working with vi a bit more seamless and this lack of fn row is a moot point. So maybe we have to change few key bindings for ancient but still useful software. Really not a deal killer.
lr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought the current application determined what is displayed in that area? How do we know the Terminal won't cause the escape and FN keys to appear? Same for TextMate, Atom, etc.? Yes, Apple owns the default Terminal app so there is no controlling what happens with it (or is there, i.e., can you, via preferences define what you want to show up regardless of what the app chooses...). But the makers of TextMate, Atom, and IDEs can decide to make the function keys show up, no?
pi-rat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe not a good laptop for vim users, but it's the perfect Emacs laptop.


copperx 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know the post is complaining about removing physical keys, but wasn't it completely idiotic to have removed the SD card slot? I know that most people don't use it. And maybe having it in the 13" is overkill, but what about keeping it in the 15" one Apple? It's a "Pro" computer, and the most common use case isn't for developers, but hobby, prosumer, and pro photographers, who use (gasp!) dedicated cameras with SD memory.
drinchev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wow, guys... We are all developers, but most of us work for companies. So next time your boss asks you : "What do you want as your primary machine?" I bet you will reply : "Latest MacBook Pro".

That simply sums it up. There's no better alternative at this point. You can't reply "I want a Thinkpad and make it Hackintosh" or smth.

michaelkaufman 1 day ago 0 replies      
The reason I'm not impressed with the new Macbook Pro is I, like a huge percentage of developers I know, use the computer as a 3rd monitor and use a different keyboard than the built in one. I'm not going to reach 3 ft away to hit a Spotify shortcut on the TouchBar ever when I can use my finger on my magic trackpad to do it in a fraction of the time. WTF. And will the function keys on my keyboard of choice even work now?
devnull255 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, according to info about the new MacBook, news of the the function keys' death has been greatly exaggerated.

"Access the function keys by holding down the FN key on the keyboard." -- http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/

One might also optimistically hope that the touchbar itself has some practical level of re-programmability.

Isamu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I believe the short video that introduced the new MBP showed the ESC key in the system bar in the first few seconds, they practically zoomed in on that ESC key. And it showed up in other configurations, just not all of them.

I would think if you are in a shell or similar context, the ESC will be there in the expected place. Why don't you wait and try it out at the Apple store?

No, let's fly to the internet to dash off a disposable opinion.

Sk1pp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't understand, this insane hype over the removing the esc key. I use vim on a daily basis, and there are several ways in vim, or in the system to remap the keys. But above all that I'm pretty sure they said yesterday in the presentation that the esc key would just be on the touch bar when the terminal is open. And if that's the case its a simple signal to the OS.
gshakir 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am sticking with MBP for the combination of UNIX, MS Office and support for software like Turbotax etc. Ubuntu is not an option for me yet, since LibreOffice has lot of kinks. My only gripe is that processor and memory did not get an upgrade. Touch bar is a nice touch, we have to wait and see how it plays out.

Oh, I like Apple commitment privacy compared to MS.

Imagenuity 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apple needs a built-in, system level, per-app configurable Touch Bar settings tool. Apps may provide their own configurations, but they have to be customizable.

Only by putting this in as part of the system settings, will a standardized way of apps making touchbars and users making customizations work across all apps.

mwill 1 day ago 1 reply      
I may be asking too much here, but I hope someone comes along with a laptop with amazing build quality, amazing linux support, and hackintosh support (XCode).

I've been holding off replacing my old MBP because none of the new models have wowed me. I got a laptop sized tumor on my budget just waiting to be removed by some company with a viable product.

bfrog 1 day ago 0 replies      
Apple users these days must be masochist to keep coming back for more year after year.

It used to be a joke... http://www.theonion.com/video/apple-introduces-revolutionary...

nojvek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really hope my current air doesn't breakdown. It's proper USB ports, fn keys and built in hdmi port. I use fn and esc every single day. Fn6-8 are debugging continue, break etc shortcuts.

I see absolutely zero value in buying the new iPhone or Mac line. Why apple why? Precisely this reason why I am selling all my stock in Apple.

the_watcher 1 day ago 0 replies      
No escape and function keys? Seriously? I've been using Karabiner (now Karabiner-Elements, which is rapidly becoming fully featured) to remap those keys for years anyway, since they're already located in a place that makes me hate having to use them.

The most useful key remapping, by the way, is Caps Lock to Escape.

jabzd 1 day ago 0 replies      
In one keynote I went from being excited about what was coming to feeling held hostage, yet ignored, in the Apple ecosystem due to iOS app development. 16gb of RAM is just too limiting for some workloads.

I may need to outfit my team with powerful linux desktops and low end macbooks for app development and remote/emergency work.

goerz 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone doing highly CPU intensive computations, I would have appreciated more than 2 cores (or 4, with hyperthreading, I assume) in the 13' MBP. Granted, most of the time I can use my 80 core remote compute node, but it would still be nice to have a bit more parallel CPU power for local development
ilolu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lots of people point out about touch bar being context sensitive. Why cant each app have context sensitive widget bar. Or why not just have another context sensitive menu bar which each apps can customize. Are we not getting the same user experience but with a mouse/trackpad instead of a touch bar ?
elcct 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ubuntu for Windows works really well (on insider preview) and since then I have no desire to even look at mac...
radium3d 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel like removing the function keys their original idea to where they couldn't go back when they were first conceived. It will be better to know what their function is without having to look it up in a manual. It makes the function keys on older computers look like index cards in a library.
whywhywhywhy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd actually say devs (web/mobile) are one of the only professionals served by this laptop. They don't need high powered GPUs.

This however is a massive kick in the face to anyone working in design, art, 3D, video editing or effects.

The only other professional this seems to target is the professional blogger.

pat2man 1 day ago 0 replies      
As an iOS developer I've been waiting for a single feature: the ability to drive a 5k monitor. Bonus for a single cable that I can plug in vs power + DisplayPort. Apple finally delivered. The fact that any manufacturer can develop such a monitor now is just a bonus.
k_bx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why doesn't anyone mention that Apple still sells the 13" version without that touchbar?
vazamb 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't really understand the outrage about the touchpad when the actual keyboard is likely a far worse problem. Unless they have significantly upped their game from the 12 inch MacBook I don't see anyone typing on that keyboard for longer than 10 minutes.
Philipp__ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ok, I think Apple is not hitting the Dev group of consumers at all. But what I certainly do not want to do is judge a machine that I have not tried. Yeah, I am almost 100% I won't buy this machine, no reason, cause I use maxed out 13" I bought 9 months ago, but I will go to a store and spend some time with it, and after that come to the internet and tell my impression.

Markets and products change over time, sometimes for worse, sometimes for better. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy this machine, yes it is expensive, yes it is not geared towards Pro consumers as we all used to think and expected from this one the same, yes it is Apple on the verge of their creativity. So what? It has never been better situation with alternative laptops and hybrids. You have fantastic products from Microsoft and Dell!

What is my opinion on this whole thing, is that with laptops we got to the point of saturation. They started as big and clunky boxes in 90s, to a slimmer but still heavy and chunky plastic bricks in early 2000s. Then we got aluminum body, after that CPUs staled with performance, and went with the rout of lower voltage, which allowed for longer battery life and less heat exhaustion. Then aluminum bodies went really slim, tablets and touch screens came in play, opening whole new market of hybrids.

And now we come back to the point where we say, we do not want gimmicks in our laptops, that's okay, Apple shoulda have given the option of non Touch Bar 15" MBP, but it would require further price tweaking. And then we come to the point of price. Yeah it is going up! We had a period from 2012 to 2016 where computers were pretty affordable, in terms where you get solid battery life and computer performance with at least FHD screen slight under thousand dollars. Now market is shrinking, because of the nature of technology and innovation, market got saturated, and we are here where we are. I just do not understand people screaming all over the internet. I mean I was too when I watched the presentation, this isn't the Apple I fell in love with more than 10 years ago. But what can you do... When the time comes for purchase of my new computer (I am Software Engineer, so quite niche market) I will evaluate every option with my head cool. Yeah, I like UNIX and I was using Mac computers for more than 10 years, but Microsoft has never been stronger with hardware and PC games, and Dell is fine too. That is the good thing both for whole market and Apple fans, because change is needed inside Apple! When their money and stocks start to go down the sink that will make them realize and fight for the lost costumers. Have a nice day, just my 2c.

radus 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you don't mind an additional dongle, maybe the following can help: https://github.com/alevchuk/vim-clutch
fatbird 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very few vi power users actually use the ESC key, I think: the first tip given to everyone trying to transition to vi is to remap jj to ESC so you can do so without leaving the home row.

The RAM bugs me; replacing the F row with the touchstrip doesn't.

winebaths 1 day ago 1 reply      
While there's a lot in here that I can agree with, this one stands out like a sore thumb...

> The MacBook Pro had options with 2.4 gigahertz dual-core processors back in 2010. Anything new in 2016? Not really, well nope.

Aren't we done the whole gigahertz race?

mixmastamyk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yep, I'm another developer who rarely uses Escape or the F keys. I moved Ctrl to Caps Lock, and you can put Escape there too if you are a hardcore vim/emacs user. It's better on the hands and faster.

Second, my current laptop has 8GB ram and it is more than enough to edit text files. The only time it could potentially be a problem is when running VMs, but as it is I can run two or three at a time with 1GB a piece no sweat. Combined with the cloud and ssh I'm not sure that 16GB is a burden to many.

As an aside I used to work at a vfx company in the late 90's. We'd do simulations such as tornados that ate RAM for breakfast and would run on a full SGI Origin 3k across 16 CPUs. Guess how much ram it had and used? Yes, 16 GB. The idea that we have an Origin in our laps under 2kg would have impressed the younger me.

oldmanjay 1 day ago 1 reply      
People like to use rhetoric to pretend that their opinion is universal as a preventative measure for suppressing disagreement. Programmers, unfortunately, like to apply this to things that are transparently subjective, targeted at an intelligent audience that often takes umbrage to being told what to think.

I feel like I should flag this article for being nothing more than rhetorical rabble-rousing[0], but frankly so many people have been arguing to let HN go to shit because that's the sort of comment community they want, so I'm more inclined to leave this particular cesspit bubbling.

[0] Here's the sort of logic the article employs:> There are ~ 19 million developers in the world. And Apple has managed to sell ~19 million Macs over the past 4 quarters. What a coincidence!

cflynnus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel like I can boil this post down to:

1. There's no escape key!2. It has roughly the same specs as existing MBPs

ergo now totally useless for developers

Anyone sw developer that cares about the escape key remapped it to the caps lock key years ago

amorphid 1 day ago 0 replies      
I haven't been this upset since Chrome removed using the backspace key as a back button, and it took me a few minutes to find a chrome extension that allowed me to replicate the functionality.
Orangeair 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised that so many people use them even today. Unless you're fully ingrained into the Mac ecosystem, there are just too many idiosyncrasies that make moving between platforms in possible, like the use of the 'command' key which no other platform in the world uses, or the weird placement of the control key which completely negates years of muscle memory (a trend which some Windows laptops are unfortunately beginning to follow, even in business-class machines; thankfully mine at least lets me rebind it in the BIOS).

Honest question for people who develop on Macs: Do you exclusively develop on them, or have you just learned to put up with differences between it and Linux/Windows?

marky421 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why no mention of the lack of MagSafe? I can't count the number of times that brilliant little connector saved my laptop from certain death. So sad to see it's gone.
mgberlin 1 day ago 0 replies      
At first I was ornery about the touch bar thing. Then I remembered I'm using a Kinesis Advantage that has soft function keys, which I've touched about 3 times in the past year.
sametmax 1 day ago 1 reply      
All softwares, including wim, will come with a plugin (or a built in feature) to display a custom menu on it, including the equivalent of an escape key. And you can bet the first app to be developpped will be something to display the old Fx bar in the widget.

I usually really dislike apple politics, being a linux boy myself, but I can see how this, while causing some issues, can be an interesting tool.

You want people to innovate and cry when they do so. It doesn't work that way.

Let the community try to work with it for a bit to see if interesting patterns emerge before judging.

And come on, 16GB limit? I got 32 just in case, but currenly, I can't reach 14GB without forcing myself to open everything I can. This is complaining for complaining.

davidcollantes 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is not only developers, this change also kills the MBP for gamers. My child has all the function keys mapped to spells in World of Warcraft (including ESC).
the_duke 1 day ago 0 replies      
The escape key always seemed a horrible choice for such an essential key in vim.

I mapped it to capslock like 2 days after starting with Vim.

Many people also use "jj" or something similar.

TheHippo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I lost it at:

> There are ~ 19 million developers in the world. And Apple has managed to sell ~19 million Macs over the past 4 quarters. What a coincidence!

nashashmi 1 day ago 0 replies      
A possible substitute for vim keyboards is that touch bar will display vim power commands. losing escape may not be such a big deal for them.

but other users ...

raverbashing 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can use the Caps Lock as ESC key, for example

I suppose also there's a terminal mode with ESC and the other keys (or iTerm might do that)

But yeah, the RAM issue is not good

Yabood 1 day ago 0 replies      
The real concern for me is the trackpad. It's size makes it impossible not to rest both palms on it when using they keyboard.
matchagaucho 1 day ago 0 replies      
So many DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) features are mapped to function keys.

Is Apple abandoning their digital recording arts audience too?

adolfoabegg 1 day ago 0 replies      
well, if you you want a touchbarless macbook pro then get a 13' touchbarless macbook pro.Just came to mind this thought "Maybe they're selling that one as part of a sales control group". But then: it's Apple, they just do whatever they think is innovative.

Do you think system76.com is a good alternative from the developers point of view?

lasermike026 1 day ago 0 replies      
Isn't the apple market getting soft? The app gold rush is over and it never was a very good deal to begin with. Apple wants a cut of your development profits, they can yank your app or worse, yank your developer account arbitrarily. Swift, while not finished yet, commodifies the the apple dev market further. I don't think devs have a choice, they have to move on to other markets.

The esc and F key is a red herring. I do most of my coding on a Das Keyboard.

visionscaper 1 day ago 0 replies      
According to Apple's presentation, the function keys are available when you press the Fn key!
goerz 1 day ago 0 replies      
For people who really need to touch-type function keys, I would recommend remapping ALT+1 -> F1, ALT+2 -> F2, etc.
tigroferoce 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one here who noticed that there IS a version without touch bar and with plain old function keys?
uber1geek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Connecting an iPhone 7 to the new macbook pro requires a $19 Adapter. This is beyond a joke now Apple!
WallyAmerica 1 day ago 0 replies      
The touch bar is customizable. Surely they will allow users to add an esc key on their touch screen, right?
Tloewald 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't use vim and consider myself highly biased towards guis despite being a long time programmer. I am also an Apple user since the Apple II, and owned the original inside Mac and Human Interface Guidelines books.

Even for me, losing the escape key is a bit scary. It may be mitigated by customization of the bar. Function keys have always been dumb and replacing them with dynamic controls is awesome.

velocitypsycho 1 day ago 0 replies      
While I understand people's frustrations. Couldn't the escape key be on the toolbar when in Vim?
strictnein 1 day ago 0 replies      
abakker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does nobody use external keyboards?
SocratesV 1 day ago 1 reply      
I remap my CTRL to CAPS LOCK because it's more convenient.

Have come across a lot of Vim power users that do the same with ESC. Or buy the model without the Touch Bar.

Can we stop with the drama now? It's becoming pathetic.

Apologies for the bluntness.

P.S.: more RAM and CPU? Get a desktop or buy another laptop. Since when was Apple the fastest, more bang for your money? This was clearly not a specs bump iteration.

briankwest 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure I can adjust to the soft esc key, If not then evolution is a myth. :)
alexeysemeney 1 day ago 1 reply      
folks, thanks for all your comments, didn't expect that. The main issue with the keys appears when you have a full-size keyboard and a laptop with a different set of major keys. And there is one more thingtactile feedback.
joshmn 1 day ago 0 replies      
So how long before we see a "function row extension" that plugs in via usb?
weavie 1 day ago 0 replies      
It looks like they have also removed the key. How am I going to type now?
asimpletune 1 day ago 0 replies      
"The MacBook Pro had options with 2.4 gigahertz dual-core processors back in 2010. Anything new in 2016?"

This was really disappointing to read. Aside from the total lack of imagination and overall butt hurt tone, the author demonstrated a lack of basic understanding of performance.

ebbv 1 day ago 0 replies      
This article is terrible. I am not pleased with the new MBP models but the reasoning in this article is beyond stupid.

1. No Esc and Function keys? They are available and I'd wager you can change the settings on the touch bar to make them available. They demo'd the customizability of the bar. I'm not keen on the bar but it's not because it takes away options, it's because it's unnecessary complexity and will encourage bad application design.

2. No RAM improvements? The RAM is faster. The included RAM has increased. This is just factually wrong.

3. Judging CPUs on clock speed? What is this 1995? Clock speeds have been constant for a decade. The performance still increase and the power consumption improves as well. Come on.

I'm bent out of shape about the new MacBooks because they've gotten rid of one of my top 3 reasons for choosing MBPs for the last 10 years; MagSafe. MagSafe has saved my laptops dozens of times, literally. Removing it means that if I got one of these new machines I would never be able to use it plugged in on my couch. I'd be putting it at too much risk. It means any time you have it plugged in you have to be super conscious of where your power cord is and who's walking by it. They got rid of it I assume just to save a few mm's of thickness?

On top of that the TouchBar is a gimmicky feature I'd never ask for and have no use for. So much of my work is web based and cannot (as far as I know) take advantage of it. It adds tons of unnecessary complexity. Plus I'm sure it doesn't do any favors for battery life.

My rMBP is four years old and for the first time in a decade I'm finding myself not excited to upgrade. The addition of TouchID is nice. The loss of MagSafe and addition of the TouchBar are terrible decisions by Apple and make me question if they know what they're doing.

realworldview 1 day ago 0 replies      
Worst HN post and comments ever. Sounds like a kindergarten fracas.
pjmlp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really dislike the tone of this kind of blog posts, as if one is only allowed to be called developer when using UNIX, vi and Emacs.

I don't want a portable PDP-11, rather a Xerox PARC workstation, a BeOS, Amiga, Atari, Acorn, Oberon System 3...

xyproto 1 day ago 0 replies      
True ViM users have already mapped Esc to the Caps Lock key.
WhitneyLand 1 day ago 0 replies      
don't the majority of developers work with the lid closed using an Extertal monitor and keyboard?

i only use the internal keyboard when traveling.

mtw 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure what are the alternatives though. You still need a mac as a developer for mobile app development or even checking out rendering.
chrismatheson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your developers. Stop moaning about lack of this or that key and just remap the existing keys.
kagaw 1 day ago 0 replies      
R.I.P F5! :-)
mschuster91 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why Apple doesn't offer swappable RAM any more, the disks in a weird format instead of SATA, glued batteries, ... is all about one thing: making more money.

See, I have a Fall 2011 MBP. Its battery still sports 3-4h usage, and it's rare that I max out the 16GB RAM. I have virtually no reason to upgrade.

Now, with one of the new(ish) MBPs: Want to upgrade the RAM because you thought "oh, 8GB will be sufficient"? Straight outta luck. Want to upgrade the disk because 512GB SSD isn't big enough? Straight outta luck (because it's likely to be expensive as hell compared to an ordinary mass market Samsung 850 SSD). Want to replace the battery in 4 years? Quite likely going to be impossible. Anything broken (scratched/smashed screen, broken touchpad, worn out keyboard)? Have fun spending $$$$ in the Apple Store because it's a PITA to replace anything.

Except for the disk, if you want to upgrade anything you MUST shell out serious amounts of cash for a new mac.

That you'll need to part with even more cash in order to use basic interfaces (Ethernet, SD cards, Firewire to just name a few) sucks even more - and dongles are far more likely to just break, e.g. if your laptop gets fallen from your desk by a playful cat...

mynameishere 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can't believe people are debating whether or not you need function and escape keys. It's just...are Apple people living in another universe? The escape key is used by nearly every application. Are you not aware of this? The function keys are used by nearly every non-game application. Cripe. Did you people buy your premium CPU-holding boxes just to use vim?
SamUK96 1 day ago 2 replies      
True developers used MacBooks?

I was talking to a washed-up developer today who swears by them actually. Every single reason was totally bogus. It went something like this:

Reason 1) "They come with native SSH capabilities"

Me) "Uh, you can just get Putty for windows. It takes 20 seconds."

Reason 2) "MacOS uses the PC's hardware more efficiently"

Me) "Uh, it's because it's a very basic OS and has much less the deal with, i.e less threads to micromanage, so it's not really 'efficiency'. Also, Apple products have very poor hardware specs for the price, so the performance ends up the same if not worse than an equivalent windows machine, even when factoring in poorer hardware utilization efficiency."

Reason 3) "B-but, Photoshop and video-editing software runs better on MacOS."

Me) "No. It doesn't. It really doesn't. What the hell"

Honestly, there is no getting through to them.

Parsing JSON is a Minefield seriot.ch
554 points by beefburger  3 days ago   289 comments top 46
s_q_b 3 days ago 11 replies      
Well, first and most obviously, if you are thinking of rolling your own JSON parser, stop and seek medical attention.

Secondly, assume that parsing your input will crash, so catch the error and have your application fail gracefully.

This is the number one security issue I encounter in "security audited" PHP. (The second being the "==" vs. "===" debacle that is PHP comparison.)

As one example, consider what happens when the code opens a session, sets the session username, then parses some input JSON before the password is evaluated. Crashing the script at the json_decode() fails with the session open, so the attacker can log in as anyone.

Third, parsing everything is a minefield, including HTML. We as a community invest a lot of collective effort in improving those parsers, but this article does serve as a useful reminder of a lot of the infrastructure we take for granted.

Takeaways: Don't parse JSON yourself, and don't let calls to the parsing functions fail silently.

mi100hael 3 days ago 5 replies      
> In conclusion, JSON is not a data format you can rely on blindly.

That was definitely not my take-away from the article. More like "JSON is not a data format you can rely on blindly if you are using an esoteric edge-case and/or an alpha-stage parsing library." I haven't ever run into a single JSON issue that wasn't due to my own fat fingers or trying to serialize data that would have been better suited to something like BSON.

SloopJon 3 days ago 0 replies      
Figures that something like this would be posted on my day off. I put this through a parser that I cover, and found that the only failures were for top-level scalars, which we don't support, and for things we accept that we shouldn't. I'll look through the latter tomorrow, as well as the optional "i_" tests.

Test suites are a huge value add for a standard, so thank you, Nicolas, for researching and creating this one. I was surprised that JSON_checker failed some of the tests. I use its test suite too.

gcirino42 3 days ago 4 replies      
The correct answer to parsing JSON is... don't. We experimented last hackday with building Netflix on TVs without using JSON serialization (Netflix is very heavy on JSON payloads) by packing the bytes by hand to get a sense of how much the "easy to read" abstraction was costing us, and the results were staggering. On low end hardware, performance was visibly better, and data access was lightening fast.

Michael Paulson, a member of the team, just gave a talk about how to use flatbuffers to accomplish the same sort of thing ("JSOFF: A World Without JSON"), linked in this thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12799904

kstenerud 3 days ago 0 replies      
I did write my own parser, but for a reason: I need it to be able to recover as much data as possible from a damaged, malformed, or incomplete file.

Turns out that a good chunk of these tests are for somewhat malformed, but not impossible to reason about files. Extra commas, unescaped characters, leading zeroes... I'd rather just accept those kinds of things rather than throw an error in the user's face. It's a big bad world out there, and data is by definition corrupt.

And this is borne out when I plug my parser into this test suite: Many, many yellow results, which is exactly how I want it.

DanielRibeiro 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow! This was a great practical analysis of existing implementations, besides a great technical overview of the spec(s). Thanks for open sourcing the analysis code[1], and for the extended results[2]

[1] https://github.com/nst/JSONTestSuite

[2] http://seriot.ch/json/parsing.html

peatmoss 3 days ago 2 replies      
What ever happened with EDN (pronounced "eden") from the Clojure people? https://clojure.github.io/clojure/clojure.edn-api.htmlhttps://github.com/edn-format/edn

I always thought that seemed like a nice alternative data format to JSON. Anyone using this it in the wild?

paulddraper 3 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of issues are trivially answered.


> Scalars..In practice, many popular parsers do still implement RFC 4627 and won't parse lonely values.

Right. RFC 7159 expanded the definition of a JSON text.

> A JSON text is a serialized value. Note that certain previous specifications of JSON constrained a JSON text to be an object or an array.

If RFC 7159 wasn't different from 4627, there'd be no reason for 7159. Same with RFC 1945 and 7230 for HTTP. (Of course, HTTP is versioned...maybe he just means to repeat the earlier versioning criticism.)


> it is unclear to me whether parsers are allowed to raise errors when they meet extreme values such 1e9999 or 0.0000000000000000000000000000001

And then quotes the relevant part of the RFC 7159 grammar with answers the question:

> This specification allows implementations to set limits on the range and precision of numbers accepted. Since software that implements IEEE 754-2008 binary64 (double precision) numbers [IEEE754] is generally available and widely used, good interoperability can be achieved by implementations that expect no more precision or range than these provide, in the sense that implementations will approximate JSON numbers within the expected precision. A JSON number such as 1E400 or 3.141592653589793238462643383279 may indicate potential interoperability problems, since it suggests that the software that created it expects receiving software to have greater capabilities for numeric magnitude and precision than is widely available.

Parsers may limit this however they like. And so may serializers. This includes yielding errors. (Though approximating the nearest possible 64-bit double is IMO the better choice.)


So yeah, in the end there is fair amount of flexibility in standard JSON.

To summarize:

> An implementation may set limits on the size of texts that it accepts.

> An implementation may set limits on the maximum depth of nesting. [this one was never mentioned though]

> An implementation may set limits on the range and precision of numbers.

> An implementation may set limits on the length and character contents of strings.

Most implementations on 32-bit platforms will not parse 5GB JSON texts.

dgreensp 3 days ago 0 replies      
An informative article. The point is not that parsing JSON is "hard" in any sense of the word. It's that it's underspecified, which leads to parsers disagreeing.

Although the syntax of JSON is simple and well-specced:

* The semantics are not fully specified

* There are multiple specs (which is a problem even if they are 99% equivalent)

* Some of the specs are needlessly ambiguous in edge cases

* Some parsers are needlessly lenient or support extensions

Confusion 3 days ago 3 replies      
There was a great article at some point that explained why 'be liberal in what you accept' is a very bad engineering practice in certain circumstances, such as setting a standard, because it causes users to be confused and annoyed when a value accepted by system A is subsequently not accepted by supposedly compatible system B. Leading to pointless discussions about what the spec 'intended' and subtle incompatibility. Anyone know what article I mean?
mmagin 3 days ago 2 replies      
"NaN and Infinity"

Yeah. And I learned this the hard way with the Perl module JSON::XS. It successfully encodes a Perl NaN, but its decoder will choke on that JSON. (Reported it to the maintainer who insists that is consistent with the documentation and wouldn't fix it)

realkitkat 3 days ago 2 replies      
If JSON is comparable to minefield, then I guess XML and ASN.1 are nothing short of nuclear Armageddon in complexity and ones ability to shoot themselves into the leg ;-)
kowdermeister 3 days ago 0 replies      
I still love JSON regardless :) Client / server side languages have first class support for serialization and in most cases the data structures are rather easy.

I'd be very skeptical if one would suggest an alternative format for a web based project, however I can imagine such situations.

indexerror 3 days ago 17 replies      
> In conclusion, JSON is not a data format you can rely on blindly.

What does HN suggest for configuration files (to be written by a human essentially)?

I am looking at YAML and TOML. My experience with JSON based config files was horrible.

metafunctor 3 days ago 2 replies      
The page has been taken down for some reason (getting a 403).

Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8jVuBmx...

dep_b 3 days ago 3 replies      
Now the mess that is called JavaScript dates has crept into any system imaginable in the world. I can understand we needed to go for the lowest denominator but Crockford's card really could cram in another line with a date time string format.
eridius 3 days ago 0 replies      
Speaking as someone who wrote a JSON parser, this article and the accompanying test suite looks to be very valuable, and I will be adding this test suite to my parser's tests shortly.

That said, since my parser is a pure-Swift parser, I'm kind of bummed that the author didn't include it already, but instead chose to include an apparently buggy parser by Big Nerd Ranch instead. My parser is https://github.com/postmates/PMJSON

jayd16 3 days ago 0 replies      
tl;dr JSON with a bunch of shitty extensions is awful. The error handling among JSON parsers is inconsistent.
ohstopitu 3 days ago 0 replies      
When I didn't know better, I wrote my own JSON parser for Java (it was years back and I didn't know about java libraries). From experience: DON'T. DO. IT.

That said, if you have decided to do it....

1) know fully well that it'll fail and build it with that assumption.

2) Please, please, please...give useful error messages when it does fail or you'd be spending way too much time over something simple.

SFJulie 3 days ago 0 replies      
By sheer randomness I was having the thought about it today: I made some code to highlight where the stdlib json module sees the mistakes in JSON decoding in the python stdlib.

I used the exception with string "blabal at line x, col y, char(c - d)" to actually highlight (ANSI colors) WHERE the mistake were.


I played a tad with it, and the highlighted area for missing separators, unfinished string, lack of identifier were making no sense. I thought I was having a bug. Checked and re-checked. But, No.

I made this tool because, whatever the linters are I was always wondering why I was not able to edit or validate json (especially one generated by tools coded by idiots) easily.

I thought I was stupid thinking json were complex.


austincheney 3 days ago 1 reply      
Writing parsers is hard and takes some experience, but its not as hard or as impossible as most of these comments make out. JSON is retarted simple to parse, even in the face of certain edge case ambiguities.

I can say this from experience after having written an HTML/XML parser that provides support for various template schemes: Twig, Elm, Handlebars, ERB, Apache Velocity, JSP, Freemarker, and many more. I have written a JavaScript parser that supports React JSX, JSON, TypeScript, C#, Java, and many more things.

In years I have been programming I frequently hear whining like, "its too hard". Don't care. While you are wasting oxygen crying about how hard life is somebody else will roll a solution you will ultimately consume.

novaleaf 3 days ago 0 replies      
when parsing human constructed JSON, use JSON5 for the win.


Tepix 3 days ago 0 replies      
The important lessen is that you can't blindly rely on your JSON parser to save your ass when you are dealing with untrusted input.

If sending 1000 "["s will crash your application, you have a problem.

I hope the JSON parser authors will improve their parsers.

RangerScience 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is fantastic. However, it looks like the detailed conclusion is "exactly matching the RFC is a minefield".

About a month ago (for the third time, since I don't own the first two implementations) I made a very forgiving (and very error-unprotected) JSON parser: https://github.com/narfanator/maptionary

The core of JSON parsing, from that experience, seems really simple; it's catching all the edge cases that's hard.

In any event, I look forward to taking the time to test against this test suite!

nitwit005 3 days ago 0 replies      
People tend to screw up the unicode aspects more than the general parsing. And, indeed, the example JSON parser provided checks for a UTF-8 byte order mark, but doesn't validate that the data is valid UTF-8, so it will let through strings that might cause an application problems.

Although there is a commented out method to validate a code point, so I guess he understood that it was an issue.

RX14 3 days ago 1 reply      
Fixes for many of the issues raised by this post have since made it into crystal master: https://github.com/crystal-lang/crystal/commit/7eb738f550818...
nickpsecurity 3 days ago 0 replies      
Crap like this is why people should just use older ones that work. Some of the issues I see in the comments weren't present in Sun's XDR:


Or even LISP s-expressions if you want organized text.

RangerScience 3 days ago 0 replies      
Do you have an explanation anywhere of why each (or any) of the edge cases is supposed to succeed or fail, or why it commonly does what it's not supposed to do?

I realize that's almost as much work as writing each test case in the first place, but even a subset of the test cases having that explanation would be valuable.

cbhl 3 days ago 2 replies      
In practice, people use increasingly smaller subsets of JavaScript to transmit data.

For example, a common pattern is to transmit (numeric) user IDs as strings so that they don't get mangled by floating-point precision issues with large numbers. You see both Twitter and Facebook APIs do this, for example.

vhost- 3 days ago 0 replies      
You definitely can't rely on it. Just the other day I was given a task to take a request payload from our front end and do some stuff with it on our backend. The payload looked like this: {"thing": [{"values": ["foobar"], "type": "blah blah"}, "some identifier"], "other thing": "some string"}. It's mixing types in arrays which is problematic for most statically types languages.

Tips for Go: Don't use map[string]interface{} and circumvent the type system (I've seen this a lot in production). The fix involves the UnmarshalJSON and MarshalJSON interfaces. This lets you put the data into a structure that's sane and re-encode it back to something the other system expects.

newsat13 3 days ago 3 replies      
Anyone else seeing forbidden?


You don't have permission to access to this document on this server.

boggydepot 2 days ago 0 replies      
So what's the alternative? If you had a time machine and went back in time, what would you recommend/bring as an alternative to JSON?
77pt77 3 days ago 0 replies      
> it won't parse u-escaped invalid codepoints: ["\ud800"]

How is this not expected behaviour?

The string is not well-formed.

Same thing with decent XML parsers. They croak when you give them invalid codepoints.

andrewvijay 3 days ago 2 replies      
Bad thing to read when I'm writing a sass to json module
redleggedfrog 3 days ago 1 reply      
Crockford needs to write "JSON, The Good Parts."
metaloha 3 days ago 1 reply      
Am I wrong in seeing that PHP seems to fail the least weirdly in the full results?
amelius 3 days ago 2 replies      
One of the biggest flaws of JSON is that it doesn't support "undefined". This makes translating Javascript structures to and from JSON actually not preserve the original value. Sigh.
singularity2001 3 days ago 0 replies      
JSON = require('json5')

And you can even use comments!! (no comment)

// http://json5.org/

ninjakeyboard 3 days ago 0 replies      
unless for fun, rolling your own json parser is like writing bubble sort for use in your prod app.
tofupup 3 days ago 0 replies      
it is an improvement but when i am in these situations i usually grab the first library out there.
chrismarlow9 3 days ago 0 replies      
this is kind of a vulnerability developers wet dream, especially that graph...
rahrahrah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oh boy this is another one of those threads..

Party A: X is harder than it looks

Party B: X isn't as hard as you're making it look


michaelp983 3 days ago 0 replies      
There are alternatives to JSON that are OS, available in many languages, actively supported, and both CPU and memory efficient.

FlatBuffers & Netflixhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_AfmRc-TLE&feature=youtu.be...

mjpa 3 days ago 2 replies      
Wrote my own JSON parser (https://github.com/MJPA/SimpleJSON) a while ago... not sure how it's a minefield unless I'm missing something?
edem 3 days ago 1 reply      

 JSON is the de facto standard when it comes to (un)serialising and exchanging data in web and mobile programming. 
I disagree. Take protobuf for example. You get schemas, data structures, and a parser in one package which is actually a lot smaller than JSON and compiles to nearly all the commonly used languages. Ever since I've started using it my life became so easier! If you don't want your data to be human readable (which is very common) you should not use JSON as a data interchange format.

youdontknowtho 3 days ago 0 replies      
You know what is more like a minefield...a minefield...


Not trying to be a dork, but thought this would be a good place to bring up...if anyone is interested...in the usage of landmines in current conflicts and the way that they tend to linger.

Call this a comment factoid. Off topic, but interesting.

Google AI invents its own cryptographic algorithm arstechnica.co.uk
508 points by wallflower  1 day ago   161 comments top 32
anupshinde 1 day ago 2 replies      
"no one knows how it works" - That caught my attention, having seen computer evolved ASTs. Probably no one knows because no one has put effort to reverse engineer the internals - most of which would be unnecessary complexity that is very likely with neural nets.

Many years back, I had once experimented with PyEvolve to develop a custom trading strategy which was kind-of code with a custom instruction set. The output of a strategy was a string (program AST) that was uglier than most obfuscation outputs with many unnecessary statements. For example "a=1;b=2;c=a+b;d=c/3;if(d==1).." - expand that to many more variables. The program evolved strategies that made small profit and therefore the output was worth analysing. But decompiling that output used to take me hours - and few of those were tweaks of well documented strategies. Others I never understood because it was too much effort for a relatively small profit (and other trading parameters).

traviswingo 1 day ago 5 replies      
I get the sense that many commenters misinterpreted the point of this study. This isn't about show-boating some newfound, great cryptography method, this is about teaching computers to re-write their own code.

If you can write software that improved itself better over time, our species as a whole would advance at incredible speeds. Think about all the possibilities that could evolve from self-maintained programs. Obviously the thought is a bit scary, but it's also incredibly exciting!

JackFr 1 day ago 8 replies      
This seems pretty click-baity to me. Especially "no one knows how it works."

Alice generates ciphertext based on plain text and key. Bob generates plaintext based on ciphertext and key. Eve generates plaintext based on only ciphertext. Train the three networks across a variety of plaintetxts,

No doubt it's cool, but I would be very surprised if it offered any insight into, or represented an advance for strong cryptography.

widforss 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is most probably a rather lousy hack put together by Alice and Bob, but it maps out a very interesting future were we one day maybe can stop worrying about how our algorithms work and make that the job of the computer.

It also is totally terrifying to live in a world were computers can hide their messages from their own creators.

trungaczne 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is the link to the research paper ("Learning to protect communications with adversarial neural cryptography"):https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.06918
bkin 1 day ago 1 reply      
TFA's title is a little clickbaity by adding "noone knows how it works" which apparently means that:

The researchers didn't perform an exhaustive analysis of the encryption methods devised by Alice and Bob, but for one specific training run they observed that it was both key- and plaintext-dependent. "However, it is not simply XOR. In particular, the output values are often floating-point values other than 0 and 1," they said.

Just saying...

Touche 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure what conclusions we're supposed to draw from this. Just because they were able to hide the messages from a 3rd AI doesn't mean the encryption was good. Shouldn't a human examine it and see if they can codebreak it? Isn't the goal better encryption?
pzh 1 day ago 2 replies      
Isn't that a bit like "security through obscurity"? Unless I'm misunderstanding something, the cryptographic algorithm that the AI comes up with isn't guaranteed to be based on a provably NP-hard problem, so there aren't any formal guarantees. It would also be very hard to reason about, inspect, and prove correct.

Please note that I'm in no way dissing the researchers' work. What they did is pretty cool, but I can't see an obvious way to use these AI-generated algorithms in production systems where you may need to certify their correctness.

systemfreund 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's not clear from the article whether they train the networks with the same shared-key in every iteration, or if they randomize it. Any info on that?
jacquesm 1 day ago 2 replies      
> While it seems improbable that neural networks would become great at cryptanalysis, they may be quite effective in making sense of metadata and in traffic analysis.

How does that square with the fact that the best cryptanalists appear to have nothing but their own neural networks to work with?

This reminds me of the genetic algorithm that came up with a tone discriminator that at first glance looked like it could not work (parts connected wrong or not at all, and yet, crucial to functioning).


biot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Schneier's Law: "Anyone, from the most clueless amateur to the best cryptographer, can create an algorithm that he himself can't break."
pmyjavec 1 day ago 1 reply      
Poor taste with the Terminator graphic. A new level of lame fear mongering by Ars Technica?
sly010 1 day ago 0 replies      
"The researchers didn't perform an exhaustive analysis of the encryption methods devised by Alice and Bob, but for one specific training run they observed that it was both key- and plaintext-dependent. "However, it is not simply XOR."

I think this says it all.

madenine 1 day ago 1 reply      
Really interesting that for the first ~6500 steps Eve was better at decrpyting the messages than Bob, which had access to the key.

Would be cool to see a setup like this in which Eve is a cohort of decryption tools, otherwise your Alice network will just overfit against its mechanics. Ie, if Eve uses lockpicks to open a door, an Alice solution would eventually replace the key-lock with a number pad - not necessarily any more secure, but will foil Eve every time.

akfish 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of Peter Watts's novel <Blindsight>. Two captured "Scramblers" (the highly intelligent alien without self-consciousness) managed to communicate with each other in a way defying all human analysis, even with human knowing what they are saying (the plain text).
wideem 1 day ago 0 replies      
Next: Google AI encrypts google's servers and demand Ransom
JulianMorrison 1 day ago 0 replies      
Isn't this just the automated version of "anybody can invent crypto they can't break themselves"? It doesn't sound like the neural nets were provided with any high level cryptanalytic primitives. Just basic math and left to bodge something together. I can't imagine it would be easy to hill-climb towards an understanding of the why behind crypto. Algorithms that work look a lot like ones that have glaring flaws - but those flaws only glare if you know the right way to come at them.
rfreytag 1 day ago 0 replies      
It must be the time for Cryptography + Machine Learning. I had an O'Reilly Security 2016 talk "Machine Learning to Improve Random Number Generators" accepted this June 2016:


EDIT: I thought the reference was relevant but please do critique/comment if you feel I've broken some convention.

greggman 1 day ago 0 replies      
For those that can handle old pre CG movies there's a great old movie where computers make their own language. Highly recommended

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)


ajamesm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hill climber climbs hill, news at 11?
nullc 22 hours ago 0 replies      
"No one knows how it works"

Yea, someone might also have said that about the GOST sboxes:


strictnein 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interestingly, Eve maintained a better than random chance at guessing the message. Consistently stayed a little better than 50%.
martin-adams 1 day ago 0 replies      
At an open day for an animation course they showed an AI derived walk cycle of a character. The results were amusing. The condition was that if it feel over that would be no good. The end walk cycle was a character doing forward flips in the air and landing on its feet. Very unexpected results.
rubyfan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Teach the AI to communicate with each other in a way humans can't eavesdrop on... What could go wrong with that?!?
1_2__3 1 day ago 1 reply      
Given I saw this as top on /r/futurology I figured it was clickbait BS. But since it was posted to HN I thought I'd give it a read.

It's clickbait BS.

deegles 1 day ago 1 reply      
Google should teach an AI to do prime factorization instead.
israrkhan 1 day ago 0 replies      
maybe another AI system do crypt-analysis and break it. and nobody will know how it was broken.
chiefalchemist 1 day ago 0 replies      
By the time we finally realize we're not as smart as we think we are, it's going to be too late.
excalliburbd 1 day ago 1 reply      
Am I the only one wondering about this and Ethereum...
asveikau 1 day ago 3 replies      
> this is about teaching computers to re-write their own code.

Maybe I've seen too many movies, but I hope we can make sure they don't rewrite the "protect the humans" part.

msh 1 day ago 0 replies      
What could ever go wrong with this....
Google Fiber Cutting Jobs and Halting Rollout nytimes.com
438 points by gm-conspiracy  3 days ago   358 comments top 34
staticelf 3 days ago 25 replies      
That sucks for citizens of the US. I think the Swedish (Nordic?) model for bringing internet connectivity to it's citizens is superior.

The municipalities own (most of) the networks and all the fiber cables, letting companies use them for a small(ish) fee. These companies later sell it to customers. This help people to get the best deals and ensure that the networks are continually upgraded.

For example, I have 250/100 mbit/s for free. My rent pays for this. But I could if I wanted to easily upgrade to 1gbit/s up and down. I can change ISP (even if that wouldn't be paid for by my rent) and I would know that I always could get the same internet-connectivity speeds.

Although, while this is true for many parts of Sweden, it's not available for everyone. Some places still have networks owned by one company without any access to the city network.

SEJeff 3 days ago 8 replies      
Well google announced they were exploring a fiber rollout in Chicago. Now both AT&T along with Time Warner Cable have 1G service throughout parts of the city.

Alternatively, one can look at this not as a failure, but as a success. The point of Google fiber was to force carriers to get faster internet to everyone. It appears that it has been working. This benefits google directly as their properties such as Youtube can deliver more and better content.

For Google, this is a win/win proposition.

jgrowl 3 days ago 3 replies      
Forgive me if I'm incorrect... The way I understand it is that they are halting planning in cities that they marked as potential locations, but that does not mean they are discontinuing the roll out and service in cities that are already in progress.

For example in Nashville, they have been trying to roll out fiber in Nashville for over a year now but have only been able to install on less than a dozen utility poles so far.

This is because of the rules that prevented anyone other than the owner of the existing lines to move anything. This meant that if Google wanted to add lines to a pole with existing AT&T and Comcast lines, it would require both companies to move their own lines independently of each other in coordination. This means roads would have to be closed 3 separate times for each vendor. Nashville recently passed the One Touch Make Ready ordinance that allows approved vendors to do all of the work at the same time.

Now both AT&T and Comcast are suing the city:http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/10/comcast-sues-nash...

I hope that google stills continues to deploy to cities that are already in progress. It took community effort to get the ordinance passed and subjects them a lawsuit. It would be a real letdown.

samfisher83 3 days ago 6 replies      
Building infrastructure is hard. Even 100 years later we still have original AT&T (Verizon and AT&T) as the dominant telecommunications company.

Google also seems to just give up on a lot of its products:Google+HangoutsProject AraGoogle BuzzGoogle videoOrkutTalk Meeboetc.


yekim 3 days ago 0 replies      
So bummed to read this. Even though I wasn't going to directly benefit from Google Fiber, it was sure nice to have a non-entrenched player tackle this market.

From the big G's standpoint, it makes good biz sense to exit this market. I sure hope the subtext in the article comes to fruition ie that Google / Alphabet has figured out a better way to get high speed internet to homes in the US sans fiber.

In an ideal world, this fast fiber internet ought to be a municipally managed utility, with my tax dollars paying for the fiber in the ground. Then, my take home dollars paying for whatever competing service(s) I choose to light up said fiber to bring me access to the net.

Leszek 3 days ago 1 reply      
Previous discussion (mostly about the blog post): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12792928
the_mitsuhiko 3 days ago 4 replies      
Can't say I'm surprised. I expect Google fi to have a similar fate in a few years. It's not Google business.
cargo8 3 days ago 1 reply      
The title of this post is pretty deceptive it clearly implies that the Fiber project altogether is being halted.

My understanding from this article amongst others is that they are simply rethinking their approach to, rather than laying down fiber throughout all target cities, beam high speed internet from local way points to the roofs of high rises (like WebPass does in SF, which they acquired).

It is pretty reasonable to, if this seems a viable approach, halt expensive infrastructure operations to lay down hard wired fiber and cut the jobs associated with these logistics and operations.

fowlerpower 3 days ago 1 reply      
See this title about what's happening to Google Fiber is much more direct, honest, and to the point than the corporate PR google Post and title that confused me into thinking I'm actually going to be able to sign up for Google Fiber.

Their title: "Advancing our amazing bet"

Point being that our ISPs right now need some disruption and I think a lot of people were hoping this Google Fiber would catch on. A lot of folks assumed Google would eat whatever losses to make this a hit. Apperatnly not, apperantly some short term profits trump anything else.

ryao 3 days ago 1 reply      
People in the technology community should start organizing the construction of local government owned municipal fiber networks in their communities. I am abroad right now, but I have decided to start speaking up in mine when I return to the United States because I finally believe that I know how such a thing can succeed.

Local communities could use municipal bonds to pay for a 10G-EPON build outs where multiple providers can provide transit, VoIP and IPTV over the same cables using PPPoE and VLANs. Then a per subscriber fee could be assessed to make pay back the bonds. This would be an ILEC/CLEC model, except with local government ownership much like they own the roads.

The situation where incumbents drop prices could be handled by having a default CLEC that offers free ITU broadband service at 256Kbps. People would switch for that and then switching to a better CLEC could just be a phone call. The incumbents could not compete with free service over a 30 year period and the municipal government owned ILEC + private CLEC model would win.

gm-conspiracy 3 days ago 3 replies      
Anybody know what is going on here?

This seems like a page out of Verizon's FIOS rollout.

Is Google working on their own cellular network (non-MVNO)?

Is this due to the FCC reclassification of internet as a common carrier?

shmerl 3 days ago 1 reply      
They should have known it's a long term investment and ROI happens only when certain scale is reached. Why change their mind now?
Animats 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is discouraging. I thought that Google Fiber was over-hyped for the number of users actually connected, but didn't think they'd just give up.

Perhaps Sonic, which provides gigabit Internet service to parts of San Francisco at a lower price than Google [1], will take over Google's operation there.

[1] https://www.sonic.com/sanfrancisco

post_break 3 days ago 1 reply      
Wonder if Google fiber will just shut down and give a 30 day notice or something scummy like that.
dbg31415 3 days ago 2 replies      
The Google Fiber rollout in my neighborhood has been a debacle from the start.

They walked around and put up door tags -- really really big ones saying, "Google Fiber is coming!" and immediately after that the 0 crime neighborhood I live in had a slew of break ins. Anyone who didn't remove this massive door tag was an easy target, the crooks knew who was home and who wasn't.

Then like a week later... they put the exact same door tag up on all the doors. And we all laughed... but we were like, "WTF, Google..." Then the next day they put the exact same door tag up again... even doubling it up on homes that already had a door tag. They door tags were just promos to sign up; they didn't tell us to mark our sprinkler systems, or who to call in case the construction crew accidentally cut our water lines...

The actual cable laying came about a month later... and it's been going on for 7 weeks at this point. Some days the guys work, most they don't. Doesn't appear to be any pattern to it. There are a bunch of expensive drilling and trenching machines parked at the end of my cul-de-sac and along the street in the spots where residents used to park. 7 weeks and counting...

hcayless 3 days ago 3 replies      
GF has been tearing up our neighborhood this week and last laying cable (I'm in Chapel Hill). AT&T did the same about 6 months back. I was holding out for Google, but this makes me think even when they get it up and running, the support will be nonexistent. So maybe better to go with the devil we know (we already have AT&T U-Verse, just not gigabit). At least they lasted long enough to force AT&T's hand...
jcoffland 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Because Google runs most of its business on the internet, analysts have suggested that its entry into the costly world of fiber optic internet was an attempt to motivate existing internet providers to accelerate the introduction of faster web connections.

Hasn't Google said before that one of their reasons for starting Google Fiber was to push other companies to expand high-speed Internet access in the US? Has this happened or has Google Fiber just run out of steam? I know Sonic is rolling out fiber in the Bay Area. I'm sure Google Fiber has put some pressure on them to up their game.

windlep 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fiber the way the US does it is rather lame. Consider that where Google has put in fiber the houses now have:

- Copper telco lines

- Coax cable lines

- Google fiber

There's zero reason for anything other than fiber in an area being updated to it. States/municipalities should solicit bids for a company that wants to maintain the fiber infrastructure, and other companies wishing to provide phone/tv/internet over the fiber can all compete on their service over the one fiber line.

We only have one telco and one cable line because states blessed monopolies for this, they should do the same for fiber, and open access to it for competition from service/content providers. It'll never happen, but I can dream...

josh_carterPDX 3 days ago 1 reply      
They backed out of Portland after spending a ton of money and time with city officials. Sad to hear this is not happening and hope Google finds a way to get back into this because the options today are a joke. This will just embolden companies like Comcast to charge more for horrible service.
rch 3 days ago 0 replies      
This should have been the headline on yesterday's news.
askopress 2 days ago 0 replies      
In Estonia I get 500mbps up and down with unlimited bandwidth for 35 euros, monthly. I think it has a lot to do with the ability to roll out newer, faster stuff much easier than with a big country - and we do have quite a few ISPs, each of them fighting to provide even faster speeds. Wonder why in U.S they don't really try to do anything to be better, and if they do increase speeds, the bandwidth is still stupid low.
josh2600 3 days ago 3 replies      
I wrote about this elsewhere and am pasting my thoughts here as I think they're relevant to this community:

1) Google Fiber is dead. Long Live Google ISP.

Google cannot afford to lay fiber in the ground because it's a long game and Google doesn't really want to play the long game (they just want to put pressure on competitors so they can move more bits along the wires, generating more searches and more streams with which to shove ads in your face). Fiber never was the most efficient way to do this, but there's something sexy about "Google Fiber" as opposed to "Google Point to Point Radio Towers". The reality is that wireless delivery of bits is way cheaper than fiber because you don't have to tear the ground up (over the last mile obviously since the arteries must be fiber links).

Clarification: "long" refers to 30-year payback periods for physical asset investment. There are a lot of things with higher returns on that timeline than fiber that google can invest in. I don't actually think it's profitable for anyone to build unsubsidized networks. This is why networks should be public and operators should be private, but that's a topic for another day!

2) Fiber is cheap, construction is expensive.

When I helped Comcast build out the fiber network in SF, what struck me was the relative cheapness of the assets we were putting in the ground compared to the cost of tearing up the street. The conduit and the glass inside the conduit cost almost nothing, but tearing up the street in SF is $300/sq ft. Crossing cable car tracks was like $50,000. Then there's the actual cost of construction: people. Getting contractors to arrive on time, finish on time, and avoid overtime is fraught with peril. It's actually really hard to move physical atoms around in a manner similar to programmatic systems, and so many models that have real world elements stumble against the harshness of actuality. I suspect Google's cost modeling for building a fiber network was optimistic.

3) Wireless is fast, but does it scale to city size?

It's not hard or particularly expensive to deliver gigabit over wireless. You basically need a tall building to rain down radio waves onto the masses. What I wonder about, given that we have no cities running on majority wireless point to points, is what happens when you hit scale? That is to say, point to points have a limited wireless footprint (because using beamforming we don't need to splay the signal everywhere, we just send it in one direction), but one can easily imagine a saturated wireless environment as generating a significant amount of noise. Wireless networks are easy when there's only a few objects on the network but get significantly harder as the physical area reaches device saturation. That is to say, WebPass might be super easy to operate when only a handful of buildings are on WebPass, but it might be much harder if a whole section of the city is online.

4) Google bought WebPass a while back.

The writing has been on the wall for a while that the fiber game was killing uncle Google. I can only hope that they don't bow out completely. I think that wireless makes Google significantly less of an existential threat to their carrier partners as well.

Overall, I remain cautiously optimistic about Google's future as an ISP.

On a final note: Google Fi is not an answer to Google fiber disappearing. The two are tangential, disjointed offerings that cannot, for a bunch of reasons, compete with one another (most notably the wireless data caps).

mark_l_watson 3 days ago 0 replies      
I understand the legal and other difficulties of dealing with local governments and incumbent providers.

However, it may also be that Google is going to be more careful where it spends its money. Hoarding cash may be protection against interesting changes in the economy.

dmalvarado 3 days ago 0 replies      
That was fast.

Give it 5 years before the infrastructure and service is sold to ATT/Time Warner/Spectrum/WTF

andrewvijay 3 days ago 4 replies      
Just as expected. It was just to force the network carriers to speed up wasn't it?
mtw 3 days ago 0 replies      
And here I was hoping the service would be extended to Canada :/
client4 3 days ago 0 replies      
In Montana we're having success installing fiber, but we aren't outsourcing construction and using cheap electronics. I do wish we could use Google's set-top ONT though.
ukyrgf 3 days ago 0 replies      
This news comes out one week after Comcast informed me they'd be enabling an arbitrary 1 TB data cap. I have to get out of Florida, I guess.
izzydata 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had just signed up for it in Overland Park, Kansas. Hopefully they still do the construction here where they already said they would.
sidgup 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh google, at least see through on one of your bold ideas?
davesque 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well this is some pretty depressing news.
stinger 3 days ago 0 replies      
another one bites the dust
exabrial 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sensationalist headline...

My analysis: They're realizing big cities are not profitable and installation costs a ton of $. My guess is they'll try to go for smaller towns with better utility pole infrastructure.

nickysielicki 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think it's hilarious how many people think it's consistent to simultaneously hold the opinion that this is a tragedy and that Google Fiber was the ISP that they wish they could have, while also supporting federally-imposed "net neutrality" and the implicit claim behind it, which is that all ISPs are just dumb pipes that are moving bits, and that consumers are agnostic about who does it.

All the sheep on Reddit who got behind FCC mandated "net neutrality" are directly responsible for this. Urbanites get a warped view of this country and vastly underestimate the amount of places where satellite internet is their only option. Yet they have the nerve to bitch and moan about what a tragedy it is that they can't stream 4k video without buffering. The government must fix this! To hell with the rural schoolchildren and their lack of access to wikipedia, I want to watch high-def cartoons!

There was so much innovation taking place behind the scenes to provide a decent web-browsing experience via satellite internet and WISPs. And it's all for naught.

I'm still excited for this next year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ViaSat-2

Powerwall 2 and Integrated Solar tesla.com
470 points by ph0rque  1 day ago   292 comments top 42
Loic 20 hours ago 27 replies      
Quick question for the people living in the US (Target customers of the Powerwall). What is your yearly power usage?

On the website[0] they put for sizing 10kWh/day/BR. Which means 14600kWh/year for a 4 bedroom house. Here in Germany, working from home with a 4BR+office house, we are using 2550kWh/year. So, I suppose the Tesla sizing is to support a "peak day" usage, but still, I am surprised by the calculations. This is why this totally informal and unscientific survey :)

[0]: https://www.tesla.com/powerwall

DvdGiessen 16 hours ago 0 replies      
For those who are looking for something similar but (being the kind of people who read HN) would like something more configurable and hackable, you might check out the products of Victron Energy[0]. They've also have an optional remote management portal[1] which allows you to set up and monitor everything remotely for years now, and most the software running locally on the devices is open source and fully modifiable (such setups are even supported!).

Full disclosure: I'm one of the developers of the mentioned Remote Management portal.

[0]: https://www.victronenergy.com/[1]: https://vrm.victronenergy.com/

Animats 23 hours ago 2 replies      
The thing is cloud-connected, remote-controlled by Tesla. That presents a problem. Will the cloud service behind it last the life of the system? Most cloud services evaporate within five years.
andrewtbham 1 day ago 3 replies      
the cool thing is that they look good... they look like a normal roof at the angle you would see from the street in front of the house, but from above... from the angle of the sun they are transparent and you can see the solar cells.

I know some rich people that want solar but their neighborhood associations won't allow it, but I don't think they would not have an objection to these roofs. they look really nice....

I have been curious how they were going to compete with cheap chinese solar. this seems like a good strategy but one that may be easily copied.

Tinyyy 20 hours ago 1 reply      

For people like me who missed the solar roof.

swampthinker 1 day ago 5 replies      
Solar panel roofing tiles have been around for a long time. I wonder what this will do different? Pricing? Or perhaps they are relying on brand strength alone.

Edit: I understand the urge to downvote because I'm not singing praise, but I promise I'm not trying to be overly pessimistic or critical of what Tesla is doing. Fact of the matter is, solar tiles have been done before, and failed miserably.

amluto 1 day ago 5 replies      
I have no particular desire to sign up just to watch the video, but I hope that the Powerwall 2 is compelling enough to beat out the LG Chem RESU.

For reference, the RESU is a wall-mounted Li-ion battery meant to be connected to a solar inverter. It seems to beat the Powerwall in basically every respect. It's a bit cheaper, it has a better warranty, and it has slightly lower advertised capacity but higher warranted capacity under basically all advertised conditions. But it's not cool and doesn't have a shiny video.

manav 1 day ago 5 replies      
I haven't looked into it yet, but I'm curious about using utilizing my Teslas in case of emergency for power. With 75kwh+ each (leased so no concern about cycles) I don't think I'd need a powerwall at home.
DeBraid 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Many Powerwall 2's can be combined to reach potentially unlimited scale. Tesla working with SCE to build an 80 mWh Powerwall 2 stack.

Utility power required to partner with local generators. Bright future for both rooftop and Big Utility.

Solar Roofs

Solar roofs superior to normal roof? Can they look better and costs less. Maybe.

Make solar panels look like roof shingles. A textured glass tile contains/covers (?) the solar cells.

Hydrographic printing allows each tile to look unique, so the roof/house looks beautiful. No two roofs will be the same.

From street-level, it looks opaque, but is transparent to Sun.

AndrewKemendo 1 day ago 2 replies      
I signed up for the original powerwall and as it turns out it's not Tesla - it's solarcity (I get it, they are the same now). Oh and by the way you have to have the solarcity solar panels installed and running for the powerwall to be installed, which has a cost of it's own.

My guess is that this isn't any different given this text:

Powerwall 2 is a battery for homes and small businesses that stores the suns energy and delivers clean, reliable electricity when the sun isnt shining.

intrasight 1 day ago 2 replies      
For $3000 this would be easy to justify just to keep my computer and network operating. I work at home and our power goes out too frequently. Is usually just for 10-20 seconds and my UPS takes care of that. But sometimes it is out for several hours - I'll say several times per year. If I can't work, I can't bill.
mrfusion 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks amazing! I wonder how they get wired together? How are they attached to the roof?
jameshart 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting to see Tesla of all people estimating energy consumption on the basis solely of how many bedrooms your house has, and not adding on how many electric cars you need to charge...
seanlinmt 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Is the patent for Powerwall v2 available somewhere as well? As per https://www.tesla.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you? Just windering if it contains enough info for anyone to built a unit themselves.
ifhs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Brilliant. Can't wait to order one. Wonder when it will ship since I was planning on reroofing next 4 months or so.
Fej 21 hours ago 5 replies      
How long are the batteries going to last? With phones, we expect the battery to deteriorate after a couple of years. This is an investment. Will it need to be replaced in a few years' time?
andreyk 20 hours ago 6 replies      
His argument about the solar roof starts by equating the situation to how Tesla started out - electric cars were slow and ugly and needed to be sexy and cool to be attractive, and the same is true for solar. Except I highly doubt this is true here - do people really mind the look of typical roof-mount solar? My impression is that the upfront cost is just too high and cost recoup is just too slow. The argument for the solar roof is then 'using a solar roof in the first place = way cheaper than installing on top of existing roofs (and also it looks as good and works better)'.

Maybe? I'd like to see the quantitative argument here. Having a house pre-built with a fancy solar roof AND a powerpack seems like it would still be pretty much for rich people. Still, maybe the aim is for a similar trajectory as Tesla - start with a product for rich people, make it attractive, lower cost so everyone can have it and WANTS to have it.

Unrelated: gosh, I like the content of the video presentation but it would be nice if Musk was a slightly better presenter.

rjdevereux 1 day ago 2 replies      
Sounds great, I'd like to see the assumptions in the financial model that show how it is cheaper than conventional roofing material.
newman314 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm interested in both but could not find any details what kind of output a solar roof would generate.

Also, I would be interested in know if it's possible to walk on top of a solar roof. People still need to be able to get on the roof to do work.

onesun 1 day ago 2 replies      
Any idea why the solar cells aren't packed more densely? It looks like there's a lot of wasted space on due to a square cell centered on a rectangular tile.
starchild_3001 1 day ago 0 replies      
Musk & co changing the world one step at a time. I used to be a Tesla sceptic. Not anymore, having owned one and witnessed the relentless improvement in battery tech.
dabeeeenster 17 hours ago 0 replies      
"Powerwall uses an internal inverter to convert DC energy to the AC energy required for your home, lowering cost and complexity."

Does this mean that you don't need to buy a regular solar array inverter if you are deploying it with a new solar installation?

gregn610 16 hours ago 4 replies      
X-post from reddit as it might get an answer here...


This LNG ship got me wondering about a battery equivalent, charged up in a desert solar farm and shipped to a major city.

I get 16 Powerpacks per 40ft container 5100 containers per Panamax ship =81600 powerpacks per ship At 95kWh per pack = 7752MWh per ship ( based on powerpack v1)

So is that like two Hinckley C nuclear reactors worth of energy? How long would that last before having to go back for recharging? How long would it take to charge from a massive solar farm etc etc. so many questions but basically, is it remotely viable?

nimish 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Arbitrage economy 7 in the uk-- halve your electricity orice. Not bad at all....
anthay 17 hours ago 4 replies      
I was pleasantly surprised to see prices quoted in GBP - the Powerwall is available in the UK! But, we don't have enough sunlight here to run a typical house off-grid year-round, do we?
jburgess777 1 day ago 2 replies      
Is there a summary for anyone that doesn't want to sign up?
alando46 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any idea how much power these things put out when compared with a conventional solar setup? 1:1? .5:1?
sambe 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not following the calculations, maybe I'm sleepy. "can power a two-bedroom home for a full day". They say that is 20kWh (it doesn't change when you say sockets vs entire home...). They say the battery is 14kWh and only recommend one. Huh?
mrfusion 14 hours ago 1 reply      
@elonmusk Just a thought. How about A prebuilt shed built with these shingles might make a good product.

A lot of people buy prebuilt sheds and if it only cost $x extra and you could start lowering your electric bill.

superfx 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Does anyone know where the video was filmed? It looks like it might be a neighborhood in the Bay Area.
Dowwie 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm very impressed by the solar roof shingles, especially the French slate style.
mrfusion 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is anyone else having trouble with the tesla website? - bunch of words are in a different language and the prices are in a foreign currency.
keyle 23 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks so cute with its 110kg (220lbs)...
revelation 1 day ago 0 replies      
Direct 1080p video link:

Replace NUMBER with 1 to 190 or get the playlist:


dghughes 1 day ago 3 replies      
As much as I like the idea after reading about the Note 7 and then a battery fire at DARPA I'm not fond of a giant battery lithium-ion battery in my house.
zappo2938 1 day ago 0 replies      
Someone posted a link about Boston.gov being released as an open sourced project on GitHub. I'd like to take a moment to point out that this Tesla website is built on Drupal 7 too. The big thing that both websites get out of the box is i18n support for translation on top of all the tools required from content management. I wouldn't recommend it for websites and services that need many people to constantly update content but to build static pages that are cached is pretty awesome stuff.
foobarqux 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thought Straubel said that the Powerwall was meant not for offpeak storage but for emergency backup.
Annatar 18 hours ago 1 reply      
So I used the calculator on Tesla's web site, in my case, I'd want 3 powerwalls and I'd want a solar installation to complement it: $18,000 USD.

That's still way too high: $1,800 - $2,500 would have been acceptable. That is how much I'm willing to pay for some solar panels, three batteries, and a little bit of electronics (processed sand) to control the lot.

As far as I'm concerned, this is all still hype. Prices need to go down, waaayyy down, and the profit margin and the engineering needs to be recuperated through volume. The days of fat profit margins and the early adopters amortizing the research and development have come and gone. The computer industry learned that lesson the hard way; it would be a shame if Mr. Musk repeated the same mistake, instead of learning from history.

usaphp 1 day ago 2 replies      
Correct me if I am wrong, it estimates 12,000$ for a single day of energy backup of your home? For 12,000$ I dont mind staying one day without electricity.
donclark 1 day ago 2 replies      
Are the solar cells and powerwall shielded by any kind of solar storm? I couldnt find any detailed information confirming or denying it. I would not like for any of us to be in a situation where the 1st solar outtage is our most damaging, and thats what causes any producer of electronics to adopt labeling and marketing for it.
Uptrenda 20 hours ago 5 replies      
You can buy 12v 250ah deep cycle AGM batteries from China for around $5 per battery -- lets assume another $15 for world-wide shipping. These kind of batteries would have around 3kwh of storage per battery but since you shouldn't discharge them to more than 50% lets also say that you need to double the number of batteries to achieve 14kwh of usable power for 28kwh of total capacity. At that capacity level, you would need only 9 batteries for a sub total of just $180 USD (including shipping.)

Lets proceed with these calculations and say that you also want a good quality "grid-tie" "pure sine wave" inverter (to feed your stored energy back to your home grid) which will set you back any where from $100 - $1000. Your total cost for energy storage is still only going to be around $1180 (worse case.) Now consider that the life time for the Tesla batteries and standard AGM batteries seem to be very similar and I honestly have no idea what the customer is actually paying for.

Is the compact size and sleek appearance really worth the extra cost to the customer? Maybe it is. Maybe people dont want to have a nerdy battery bank in their homes but to me the benefits all seem a little petty. (Granted, I definitely do see the benefit for tech like this in electric cars though, dont get me wrong.)

DTrace for Linux 2016 brendangregg.com
463 points by okket  2 days ago   61 comments top 10
jdesfossez 2 days ago 1 reply      
It would be worthwhile to clarify the term "tracing" to distinguish between live aggregation and post-processing approaches.The general confusion around the "tracing" terminology seems to imply a competition between these two, while they should rather be seen as complementary.

DTrace, SystemTap and eBPF/BCC are designed to aggregate data in the critical path and compute a summary of the activity. Ftrace and LTTng are designed to extract traces of execution for high resolution post-processing with as small overhead as possible.

Aggregation is very powerful and gives a quick overview of the current activity of the system.Tracing extracts the detailed activity at various levels and allows in-depth understanding of a particular behaviour after the fact by allowing to run as many analyses as necessary on the captured trace.

In terms of impact on the traced system, trace buffering scales better with the number of cores than aggregation approaches due its ability to partition the trace data into per-core buffers.

Both approaches have upsides and downsides and should not be seen as being in competition, they address different use-cases and can even complement each other.

AceJohnny2 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've only recently tried out DTrace on OS X, and I'll admit to being kinda floored at what it can do. To think I used to be satisfied with strace on Linux!

Seeing the tracing capabilites of Linux expand is exciting indeed.

Edit: the couple of tutorials that finally unlocked DTrace (on OS X) for me are:



helper 2 days ago 4 replies      
The most challenging thing for us is running a new enough kernel to get these features. While upgrading to a newer kernel isn't particularly hard, small companies don't have a lot of engineering resources to run kernels that aren't maintained by their distro of choice (usually on the LTS release).

The good thing is this is solved simply by waiting long enough. The bad thing is most developers can't just pick this up today without a bunch of extra effort.

If you are looking for something you can use with old kernels you should definitely checkout Brendan's perf-tools repo[1]. It takes advantage of older kernel features and works with things as old as ubuntu 12.04.

*Edit: Fixed Brendan's name

[1]: https://github.com/brendangregg/perf-tools

wyldfire 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats, this is good news.

> On Linux, some out-of-tree tracers like SystemTap could serve these needs, but brought their own challenges.

I was pretty happy with stap, it had a really rich feature set.

> DTrace has its own concise language, D, similar to awk, whereas bcc uses existing languages (C and Python or lua) with libraries.

I think we need more creative names for languages. The short and simple ones like "go" and "D" keep on having collisions. :)

>BPF adds ... uprobes

uprobes + all the other stuff is really killer, I like the idea of watching for stuff like "my app has crossed this threshold and then this system condition occurs". At least when I tried it a couple years ago with stap my kernel wasn't built with uprobes support and I wasn't inclined to rebuild it. Hopefully it becomes (or has become) more mainstream.

qwertyuiop924 2 days ago 4 replies      
Will there every be way to write probes/tracing scripts without dropping into C? I don't mind C in general, but I don't want to have to dig out the documentation for the eBPF C library and start writing hundreds of lines of C every time I want to run a trace.

DTrace made this really nice, because you would write your tracing scripts in a high-level, awk-like language, which is the sort of thing well-suited to the purpose.

lallysingh 2 days ago 1 reply      
So we're not getting DTrace proper, it seems. Instead something else will stem up from the various linux tracing systems. Maybe this BPF-based one.

It's a shame. One of the nice things about dtrace was that there was a book on it. Good, in-depth documentation on performance tools is hard to find.

asymmetric 2 days ago 1 reply      
> In 2014 I joined the Netflix cloud performance team. Having spent years as a DTrace expert, it might have seemed crazy for me to move to Linux

I thought Netflix was mostly running FreeBSD [1]. Is it only the Open Connect Appliance?

[1]: https://www.freebsdfoundation.org/testimonial/netflix/

easytiger 1 day ago 1 reply      
Really rather unfortunate that big enterprise platforms such as banks and so forth are so far behind on their kernel version that it will be approximately 7-8 years before they will have this capability, unless RH backport of course.
4ad 2 days ago 1 reply      
Linux is not my favorite operating system, but it seems like we're stuck with it. I'm very happy for all these improvements. Once you got used to a system with a quality and functional tracer, Linux was hard to get back to. But Linux tracing is getting better and better now. I am very satisfied.
honkhonkpants 2 days ago 1 reply      
So how does this relate to uprobes? I've been looking into that lately because I want frequency counts (or coverage analysis) of user space programs but without the nop-sled overhead of xray. Does dtrace supplement or replace uprobes? Or am I really just confused?
Server APIs Project swift.org
515 points by OberstKrueger  4 days ago   173 comments top 20
ruddct 4 days ago 4 replies      
Great. Great great great. A thousand times great. We've been slowly converting our iOS projects over to Swift over the past year and the results have been tremendous (a ~40% drop in LOC from ObjC, among many other benefits). Really the only language-level feature that feels missing for server development is first-class support for asynchronous/concurrent operations, but that's coming.

Swift is truly a 'best of most worlds' language. Typed, but without the boilerplate seen in a lot of typed languages. Syntax that makes sense and is consistent. Immutability strongly encouraged, but not required. OO if you want it. First class functions. Etc, etc, etc. It's truly a dream to work in, can't wait for server-side to get a little more mature.

rpeden 4 days ago 4 replies      
This looks like a very organized project with well defined goals, both of which are points that will help it succeed.

It seems there's a bit of a trend back toward compiled languages (Go, Rust, Swift) that don't rely on the JVM or .NET CLR to run. I think that these are all great languages, though I almost wish for something like a better, more modern, cross-platform COM to easily share libraries among the languages.

I've only had to work with COM very, very occasionally though. If I'd had to work with it for any extended period of time, I probably wouldn't be wishing for it, or anything like it. Perhaps sharing functionality between languages is better accomplished by separate services communicating via something like 0MQ.

jaybuff 4 days ago 1 reply      
My team at Apple is hiring in San Francisco. https://jobs.apple.com/us/search?#location&ss=47424189&t=0&s...

If you're interested, please email jaybuff@apple.com with [Swift Server] in the email subject line.

timanglade 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sweet to see an official push from the Swift project behind server-side use-cases (and of course in a cross-platform way, as is Swift already [0]). Looks like this spirit is taking hold community-wide too, with projects like CocoaPods tinkering with Linux support this week [1]. The future looks bright for Swift!

[0]: https://swift.org/download/#releases

[1]: https://twitter.com/segiddins/status/790326153051447296

octref 4 days ago 5 replies      
What editor is everyone using for Swift?

Last time I played with Swift I stopped after XCode crashed 2 times in an hour for me. It is also very slow. But none other editors seem to support auto completion which is a deal-breaker for me. Without it it's hard to consume all the APIs.

I hope Apple can follow Rust's path by making a language server[0] for Swift, if Apple is serious about providing cross-platform support for it. This will enable better support in editors such as find definition, refactor and auto completion.

[0]: https://internals.rust-lang.org/t/introducing-rust-language-...

squiguy7 4 days ago 1 reply      
I have been following Rust's push into server-side development and can tell it is still green. There is a great foundation with the hyper library but quite a bit of fragmentation with frameworks and the async side of things.

It will be interesting to see where swift goes with all this. I know Rust has a lot of traction now with cross-platform support and language features, but I think swift is poised to offer a much different experience for server-side development.

nodesocket 4 days ago 0 replies      
I like that they are taking the same sort of mantra as Node.js by providing the core building blocks and letting the community develop web frameworks. This was something that Ryan Dahl got absolutely right with Node, minimal functionality, sugar on top of system calls.
seanparsons 4 days ago 1 reply      
Having spent 10 months working in Swift, this is probably the last thing on earth I want to see right now.

Pretty much every part of the entire toolchain has been a pain, from Xcode being Xcode, to compiler bugs and crashes, crappy package management and bad language design.

Having built servers in Java/C#/Scala/Haskell, I'd pick Haskell over those options and Swift every single time.

dschiptsov 4 days ago 4 replies      
I hope they will look at Erlang/OTP instead of Java EE for inspiration.
mozumder 4 days ago 1 reply      
Some future server APIs should include database connectors, machine learning libraries, & image/video processing.

Standardize on these before everything gets out-of-hand.

ldayley 4 days ago 4 replies      
Dumb question: I'd love to learn more about Swift and try out writing Swift code, but is development still limited to XCode/macOS?
xenihn 4 days ago 0 replies      
Does the inclusion of Vapor members mean we can finally declare Vapor the "winner" over Perfect?
ohstopitu 4 days ago 2 replies      
I wonder what happened to the rumors that Google was planning on supporting Swift on Android officially [0].

Also, are there any good tutorials/courses to get started with Swift & iOS development? (having programmed in other languages, I can pick up fast, and I've lost interest in tutorials that start out very slowly and take time to get to the point.)

[0] http://thenextweb.com/dd/2016/04/07/google-facebook-uber-swi...

speedkills 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is there anyway to build on Linux yet? Having to use a Mac to build and deploy is really inconvenient for some continuous integration setups.
akerro 3 days ago 0 replies      
So what makes Swift better than Java/C# for server-side development? I'm getting tired with some languages and I'm looking for (fun) replacements. Yesterday I was reading about Elixir. Why and when should I adopt Swift?
rgovind 4 days ago 1 reply      
Has anyone here made a living/killing selling compiler modification services? I want to contribute to Rust/Swift/Some other language with a view of selling consulting services. Can anyone here comment about their success in this regard?
geodel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Amazing. Instead of talking about Swift server APIs, gaps or features desired, this thread gets hijacked by Scala enthusiasts.
saosebastiao 4 days ago 1 reply      
No mention of multicore, threads, or asynchrony. I would hope that is part of this.
lcfcjs 4 days ago 1 reply      
Thank goodness, I just made an app last week and it was surprising how difficult it was to actually make an http request and handle the response.
amelius 4 days ago 4 replies      
Nice, but I prefer a language which runs both on client and server, because that means I can share code, and e.g. I can do prerendering on the server and stuff like that.
Applying the Linus Torvalds Good Taste Coding Requirement medium.com
566 points by Jerry2  4 days ago   289 comments top 39
jprzybyl 3 days ago 3 replies      
I'm reminded of a quote from Moore in "Thinking Forth":

"A lot of conditionals arise from fuzzy thinking about the problem. In servo-control theory, a lot of people think that the algorithm for the servo ought to be different when the distance is great than when it is close. Far away, youre in slew mode; closer to the target youre in decelerate mode; very close youre in hunt mode. You have to test how far you are to know which algorithm to apply."

"Ive worked out a non-linear servo-control algorithm that will handle full range. This approach eliminates the glitches at the transitioning points between one mode and the other. It eliminates the logic necessary to decide which algorithm to use. It eliminates your having to empirically determine the transition points. And of course, you have a much simpler program with one algorithm instead of three."

"Instead of trying to get rid of conditionals, youre best to question the underlying theory that led to the conditionals."

That's part of a chapter of the book called Minimizing Control Structures. Forth guys are crazy about taste, and if I've learned anything from reading their stuff, it's that chasing tasteful programming to its end gets very hard.

OP is right on the money. The hard thing is that it is a creative process, and takes a real understanding of the problem you're solving to do it. Worst of all, aside from the feeling of solving a puzzle well, the benefits only begin appearing much later. I'm glad the kernel team takes it seriously.

akkartik 3 days ago 17 replies      
I dunno, the first example seems unsatisfying. The original has that ugly condition, the "good" version seems overly clever. And for all the talk of taste and aesthetics, both versions ignore an elephant in the room: defensively dealing with `entry` being absent from the list.

Not that I've never abused addresses like this. But having written this multiple times, I currently prefer something like this:

 remove_list_entry(entry) { if (head == entry) { head = head->next; return; } for (prev = head; prev->next; prev = prev->next) { if (prev->next == entry) { prev->next = prev->next->next; return; } } }
There's still an `if`, but it isn't so bad since it's an early exit. What is "tasteful" about hiding the fact that one of the cases is far simpler than the other? There's conditionals and then there's conditionals. There's cases and then there's cases.

The other benefit of this approach: you eliminate segfaults by construction, because the `while` has been replaced with a much more normal `for` loop iterating through the list. Keeping it normal is 80% of the secret to avoiding security holes.

Rather than appealing to something nebulous like "taste", I prefer to focus on concrete functional benefits. What is a situation where someone using or modifying this function might be subtly led astray? That seems a better guide.

(Earlier version posted on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/59cq8r/applyin... )

johan_larson 3 days ago 7 replies      
For my money, Linus's example of "good taste" gives up rather a lot of clarity to achieve succinctness. The original is simple and clear. His preferred version is shorter, but also harder to understand because of its use of a complicated indirection. And that's not good taste. It's just showing off.

Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute. Harold Abelson, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

PJDK 3 days ago 10 replies      
I was given a piece of advice very early on in my career that I've always been grateful for, which is fundamentally the same as this. IF and FOR are both code smells.

One case of this is just simplifying loops with some functional goodness

 var listOfGoodFoos = new List<Foo>(); for(var i = 0; i< listOfAllFoos.Count; i++) { if(listOfAllFoos[i].IsGood) listOfGoodFoos.Add(listOfAllFoos[i]); } return listOfGoodFoos;

 return listOfAllFoos.Where(x => x.IsGood);
But perhaps a more interesting point is it can also be a a sign of DRY gone wrong - two things that aren't actual repeats of each other, but just similar code, are smushed together with lots of IFs hang around to make it actually work.

A connected piece of advice was "it is easier to push things together than pull them apart" so err on the side of assuming two bits of code are not the same, knowing you can refactor them together later (probably only a few hours later) if it turns out they are in fact pretty similar.

AceJohnny2 3 days ago 10 replies      
These are great examples, and they hint to, but do not mention, the big counterpoint: development time. In his own examples, the author admitted that though the code was ugly, it worked. He then spent extra time reworking the existing code to make it, well, prettier.

"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter." -- Voltaire

The problem is that, in many (most?) professional settings, the developer is under huge pressure to get shit done. Not get it done perfectly, not done beautifully, but just done in the first place. We rarely have the leeway to spend extra time refining existing code, existing features or bugfixes, to make them prettier. It's gotta be done, and it's gotta be done yesterday because maybe some other part of the project is blocked because of it or some customer paid for it and it was supposed to be done last month or it broke and why the hell isn't it fixed yet!?

Some projects, I daresay mostly open-source projects, can afford to be detached from the pressure of deadlines that corporations require, and reject code that isn't to their quality standards. Sadly, that's not the case for most of us.

troydj 3 days ago 1 reply      
Linus' "good" version has a McCabe cyclomatic complexity of 2, whereas the "bad" version has a value of 3. So, objectively, one could argue there is improvement there (albeit small). Validation of the "good" version will be easier (e.g. code coverage testing) with fewer paths through the code. Additionally, a lower cyclomatic complexity typically implies less stress on the developer's working memory while reading code (since you don't have to consume an internal brain "register" holding the result of a conditional while following the flow of control).
no_protocol 3 days ago 5 replies      
> it only performed 256 loop iterations, one for each point along the edge

alarm bells

There are only 252 points along the edge. This code will act on each corner twice. If you were performing an operation like `+= 1` on each edge element, this code would be wrong. When you copy and paste it later and change all the `= 0` to something else, you might end up with an unfortunate surprise.

Once I saw this mistake in the 2nd code example, I guessed it would also appear in the 3rd one. Sure enough, it does. This is just as unsavory to me as the original code.

I'm not sure if the author is here or not, but if you are, can you see the fix?

tempestn 3 days ago 4 replies      
Not being used to C syntax, I took this as a typo at first:

 indirect = &(*indirect)->next;
The position of the parentheses make it look like you're dereferencing only (* indirect). But on second look, you need the parens there so that it's (* indirect)->next as opposed to indirect->next. Then the & operates on the whole thing. I'd be tempted to wrap it in a second set of parens for clarity, but perhaps it's entirely obvious to a programmer who's actually used to using pointers. IE:

 indirect = &((*indirect)->next);

deanCommie 3 days ago 4 replies      
I don't know how to reconcile Linus's track record is of indisputable brilliance and success (I use Linux and Git on a daily basis and am eternally grateful for both), with the fact that I would absolutely DESPISE working with a peer with the kinds of attitudes and opinions on coding that Linus has.

I think the problem I have is that a lot of people use Linus's examples and stories as justification for their own suboptimal interpersonal skills, overly-clever code that only they understand, but without the same level of brilliance or track record to justify it.

Ultimately I think Linus's contributions to Software are pantheon, but he should not be looked to for imitation or lessons. His lessons for success are detrimental to the vast majority of software engineers.

sverrirs 3 days ago 3 replies      
I don't know why I'm even replying, this will get so much hate here, oh well...

1. Just because things aren't done "the way you would do them" doesn't mean they're "bad" or "wrong".

2. If you're not on a solo project, I've found writing correct but less "clever" code to help shorten ramp-up time for new devs and be more beneficial to future maintainability of the code-base and system.

TL;DR; Swapping values by XOR'ing may look elite and clever but hurts you in the long run.

Smaug123 3 days ago 2 replies      
I've been told many times that it's better to eliminate edge cases. I still don't really believe it as a universal law.

When explaining the algorithm "remove an element from a linked list" to someone else, I would say "starting at the head, go along the list until you find the element; then delete the element". When explaining the algorithm "delete an element from a linked list", I would say "if you're at the head, update the head to be the next element; otherwise update the `next` property of the previous element to be the `next` property of the current element". It's so naturally a two-case problem that I'd be really surprised if anyone came up with the one-case answer first. Therefore, the two-case answer is the more readable to someone who has not seen the code before, because it corresponds to their intuition about how the algorithm should work.

As a bonus, it's clear to me that the naive algorithm is correct, but I have to do mental work to convince myself that the one-liner algorithm is correct. (I'm saying nothing about the code; only the algorithms.)

I agree much more with the reduced complexity of the later example (initialising the edges of a square), and I actually think it's worth double-counting the corners in this instance because the code is so much cleaner. (EDIT: Although I suppose the easy fix doesn't detract from the ease-of-reading, so actually it's avoidable.) In that instance, there's doubt about which is the natural algorithm to pick: one could conceivably come up with "initialise the top and bottom, then initialise the left and right", or "initialise the zeroth element of each side, then the first of each side, then" as one's first attempt at solving the problem. Therefore I like this particular simplification.

smnscu 3 days ago 3 replies      
I think "competitive" (i.e. solving algorithmic challenges for fun) coding really gives you some insight into how to write code that's short and to the point. The user with the most reputation on LeetCode, for example, consistently posts solutions that are surprisingly short, efficient, and readable.


(some random examples)




Animats 3 days ago 1 reply      
Both versions suck. If "entry" is not found in the list, the code will run off the end of the list, either de-referencing zero and faulting or going off into junk, depending on how the list ends.

Writing low-level list manipulation more than once sucks. It leads to bugs. Such manipulation should be encapsulated. That's why we have containers in modern languages. The Linux kernel is still C, not C++, which leads to too much of this sort of thing.

sytelus 3 days ago 1 reply      
Here's even more "tastier" 2 lines version:

 remove_list_entry(entry) { for (indirect = &head; (*indirect) != entry; indirect = &(*indirect)->next); *indirect = entry->next; }
The big problem: both Linus's and above versions don't handle the case if entry wasn't found, for example, if entry was null. This is the fundamental issue with trying make code overly compact: sometime you lose the sight of important edge cases. Segfaults are not tasty. I generally prefer to write code that reflects my thought process and avoid unnecessarily try making it compact. As Knuth had said "Programs are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers to execute. Uglier versions allows to explicitly documents edge cases. This enables future maintainer to make sure these cases are covered when s/he makes code changes. Obviously taking this to another extreme would ruin this. The better taste lies somewhere between the compact Linus's version and some zeolite's too verbose version.

Small problem: Another thing to think about is extra pointer redirection required in Linus's code. This is fine for most cases but if I was dealing with very large list over and over then that's unnecessary perf hit.

kccqzy 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would argue for the last example it is better to write split the loop into four. I believe the intention is even clearer (because you are doing four different things), and that it is also faster even when optimizations are off due to better cache behavior. It may also make a smart but not "sufficiently smart" compiler to transform two of the loops into simple memset.
sde 3 days ago 0 replies      
The code in the examples is not valid in any historical version of C. The use of the -> operator with an implicit int as the left argument ("entry" in the examples) was only valid from 1975 in Unix C (but not in GCOS C) until K&R C in 1978. The use of C++ style comments ("//") is only valid in standard C since 1999.

There's no point in arguing over pseudocode as if it's C.

stirner 3 days ago 1 reply      
The author doesn't mention that the grid being initalized is square, and simply describes it as grid[rows][cols]. However, all his solutions are only correct for a square grid.

One solution for arbitrary dimensions could be

 for (i = 0; i < rows; ++i) { grid[i][0] = 0; grid[i][cols - 1] = 0; } for (i = 0; i < cols; ++i) { grid[0][i] = 0; grid[rows - 1][i] = 0; }

vacri 3 days ago 3 replies      
Speaking of coding niceties, when I started branching out from bash into a 'real' language, Python, I couldn't find a switch statement. A colleague of mine said that Python didn't have one, and that switch statements were a 'code smell'. I didn't really understand that, and asked about those times that you genuinely could use a switch statement, and the answer was "just use a long if-else function". I can't remember his justifaction for it, so clearly it didn't stick

I still don't see the real pragmatic difference between a switch statement and a long if-else function - anyone feel like ELI5'ing it for me? Switch statements just seem more concise and readable to me...

kutkloon7 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think the main lesson that's there, is that in edge cases, it is sometimes helpful to work with pointers which point to the structures you're actually working with, instead of considering the structures themselves. This especially seems to work for getting rid of null checks.

This takes some getting used to, but it allows you to write more efficient code. I would do this in kernel development (smart people, high demands on performance), but I would not recommend to write code like this is enterprise software.

When you zoom out a bit, and describe the task with natural language, you can also see that this might be a good idea: "Find the node that is equal to entry, then, if the previous node exists, set the 'next' pointer of the previous node to the 'next' pointer of the current node." sounds a lot more tedious than "Find the pointer that points to entry, and set it to the 'next' pointer of entry.".

This also works for more complicated tasks:

 // removes all instances from the linked list and return the number of entries removed int removeentries(valuetoremove, list) { removedentries = 0;// how many entries we've removed prevpt = NULL;// pointer to previous entrypt = list.head;// get pointer to first node // walk the list (be careful, head can be a nullpointer) while (entrypt) { if (*entrypt == valuetoremove) if (prevpt) { prevpt->next = entrypt->next; removedentries++; } prevpt = entrypt;// save current node as prev for next node entrypt = entrypt->next;// move to next node } return removedentries; }
can be re-written to:

 int removeentries(valuetoremove) { removedentries = 0;// how many entries we've removed indirect = &head;// points to the current node // walk the list while (indirect) { // remove current entry from list if its value equals valuetoremove if (indirect->value == valuetoremove) { *indirect = *indirect->nextpt; removedentries++; } indirect = indirect->nextpt; } return removedentries; }

solipsism 3 days ago 2 replies      
The root of the problem is that "the thing that points to an entity" is not a consistent concept in this kind list. Sometimes it's "head", sometimes it's an entity's ->next. I wonder what Linus would think of implementing the linked list with a dummy head node, having no value and pointing to the first entity. Personally, I think that would be tasteful. It allows for simple loops like the "good taste" one, but you don't have to think so hard about how to implement a simple operation like remove. You don't need the added indirection.
jordigh 3 days ago 2 replies      
The example there about edges on an array is something I've had to directly deal with myself when I implemented a multidimensional image-processing function for GNU Octave. The problem is to find connected components in a binary image, where voxels are either 0 or 1. You want to find all the islands of ones, and you want to be flexible if diagonals count as being connected or not.

The problem, of course, is that along the edges you don't want to check for neighbours outside of the image boundary. I found no good way to do this for an n-dimensional image, after a few attempts of writing very complicated code. In the end, I ended up padding the whole image with a boundary of zeros, iterating over the padded image with an "if(current_voxel)" conditional that skipped checking for lit neighbours around the boundary, and when checking for lit neighbours at the original image's boundaries would give no neighbours at the padded zero boundaries.

The code was cleaner, but I incurred a big realloc, because N-dimensional images in Octave are stored as contiguous Fortran-order (column-major) arrays. I'm still looking for a better solution to this problem.

So, how do you do this cleanly?

leothekim 3 days ago 0 replies      
This article made me think of this Gordon Bell quote:

"The cheapest, fastest, and most reliable components are those that arent there."[1]

That quote is a reminder to me that there is a certain artistry behind engineering anything.

[1] http://quotes.cat-v.org/programming/

rimantas 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sandi Metz has a talk where she speaks about her dislike for ifhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMPfEXIlTVE
snovv_crash 3 days ago 1 reply      
One anti-pattern I've seen a few times, across multiple codebase and companies, is the for i in 1...cases:switch(i)

To me, his first example fits this perfectly, except he is using ifs instead of a switch. Basically, if you are generating a big, trivial sequence and then filtering it down afterwards, think harder and probably there is a way to generate the sequence you are actually after directly.

facundo_olano 3 days ago 1 reply      
All due respect to Linus, but the second example is much less readable. Proof of that: the code was reduced in half, but the amount of comments was doubled.

I think concepts like "elegance" and "good taste" of code should exist, but they are obviously subjective. My choice of good taste always considers readability first.

e19293001 3 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe I'm wrong about this but I noticed that the code didn't call free() to the element that has breen removed. That would cause a memory leak. Am I missing something here?
tbabb 3 days ago 0 replies      
Oh good lord. That edge-initialization code made my jaw drop. Did he not think about the problem _at all_ before putting code down?
WesternStar 3 days ago 1 reply      
For the curious like me who wanted to see the assembly for the Linus examples and compare https://godbolt.org/g/sqdBrf. Most importantly they have the exact same number of branches and their loops are exactly the same size 4 instructions on all opt levels greater than 02. The setup code for the first one is much longer.
saosebastiao 3 days ago 1 reply      
I know Sufficiently Smart Compilers are a running joke, and I know a lot of people think the idea is a bad one, but come on...this should be the job of a compiler. The first example is way more understandable. Yes, it branches, and yes it is more code and less efficient. But a compiler should be able to derive the more efficient version from the more understandable code. And it's a shame that it doesn't.
nurettin 3 days ago 1 reply      
Often I find myself solving problems in a single performant SQL with lateral/cross joins before hitting the business logic code in order to simplify the logic part into a single loop with no conditionals/edge cases.

Turns out this is not the best practice because you will have to explain all about your clever use of olap functions and lateral joins to someone less knowledgeable who has to append to your code.

licorna 3 days ago 0 replies      
You can think of your grid array as a contiguous piece of memory. I would do:

 bzero(grid, sizeof(int) * COLS); bzero(grid + COLS * (ROWS - 1), sizeof(int) * COLS); for (int i=1; i < ROWS-1; i++) { *(grid + (i * COLS)) = 0; /* set left col to 0 */ *(grid + (i * COLS) + COLS - 1) = 0; /* set right col to 0 */ }

stevebmark 3 days ago 1 reply      
Eventually you will realize Linus is a bad person to take advice from and stop idolizing him.
sssilver 3 days ago 0 replies      
> To the best of my ability to discern, the crux of the good taste requirement is the elimination of edge cases, which tend to reveal themselves as conditional statements. The fewer conditions you test for, the better your code tastes.

looks at his Swift code and gulps

delinka 3 days ago 0 replies      
Does it follow that attempting to write code that is closer to functional style also improves the code's "tastefulness?" I'm under the impression that better functional code contains fewer branches.
harry8 3 days ago 0 replies      
Both are correct, one is considered better based on a subjective assessment. People who disagree with that the version a person selects is objectively better have no taste.
usefulcat 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is it just me or does the grid initialization example seem extremely contrived?
LordHumungous 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a bit confused. If the entry is not in the list, does Linus's while loop throw a seg fault? Or are we assuming that the list contains the entry?
k__ 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well, the "good taste" example has a lower cyclomatic complexity, so it is at least a measurable change.
jaakl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Every time you write an 'if' and do not stop for a moment to consider it, a kitten dies.
Vine will be discontinuing the mobile app medium.com
449 points by uptown  2 days ago   160 comments top 39
Grue3 2 days ago 7 replies      
Never used Vine, and the videos from it never worked on my browser, but this is truly shocking. Like, Google Reader shutdown level shocking. Twitter is seriously clueless if they weren't able to make any use of such a popular service. Especially when Periscope is still running somehow. Though it's only a matter of time for that too now.
OoTheNigerian 2 days ago 5 replies      
I don't get it.

Why not make it Twitter's Dedicated Video App as vine already has a strong network which can be built upon.

Very soon Facebook will release their dedicated video app and Twitter will be looking clueless.

I don't get big companies

ggregoire 2 days ago 1 reply      
partiallypro 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had bought some Twitter stock earlier this year, and immediately sold it when the buyout rumors started because I knew it wouldn't get a bid higher than that with Jack at the helm.

It is dismal that they walked into meetings with Google, Salesforce, Disney, etc and they turned up their nose. Truly telling.

I've been a very harsh critic of Twitter's leadership, especially Jack Dorsey for a while now. Think of this scenario, the NFL just signed a distribution deal with the NFL, something they will probably lose money on. However, the NFL just released new social media rules barring gifs and replays until after the game. How did Twitter's leadership not put this together? You already have an existing relationship and leverage with the NFL.

You could have easily managed to make replays exclusive to Vine. That's exactly what Vine is good for. Imagine NFL teams having to post your social network on every other social network so people could watch replays? No one cares about Thursday Night Football, it's a garbage schedule with low ratings. The money was with the replays, and they completely missed the boat on leveraging their platform with the NFL's new rules.

That's just one example of total incompetence. Twitter is lucky that it is now a backbone to journalism more so than Facebook, if that ever gives way...watch out.

MOARDONGZPLZ 2 days ago 4 replies      
Doesn't Twitter do the same thing as Vine now that Twitter does videos? I never got into Vine, but kind of assumed this would happen when Twitter bought Vine. Selling Vine outright would perhaps cause people to move to the new Vine instead of Twitter video, so this (to me) would seem like the best bet to keep Vine's users and migrate them to Twitter.
anigbrowl 2 days ago 1 reply      
That's fucking stupid. I wasn't crazy about Vine but Twitter was first to market with a brandable property taht quickly became A Thing. It was the one innovative thing to come out of Twitter in the last few years, and now they're shutting it down. If I had any Twitter stock I would dump it all on this news.
dejawu 2 days ago 1 reply      
What a shame.

Twitter has a unique position as a key point in culture and media. It's played key roles in BLM and the Arab Spring. It astounds me that they couldn't focus in on that and make revenue from that reliable core of people that, like me, turn to Twitter before anywhere else when something is happening. But I guess that didn't raise growth numbers, and that's what Wall Street wants to see. So instead they're making all these desperate moves, messing with the timeline and even considering removing the character limit - things that made Twitter special in the first place.

I can't help but think that Twitter could've gotten to where it is today without needing to shut down Vine, if it weren't so hell bent on being the next Facebook sized Internet giant.

Not every kingdom has to be an empire.

jorblumesea 2 days ago 2 replies      
Snapchat and Instagram moved too quickly and changed the market. Starting to think that Twitter woes are mismanagement related.
zzzzzzzzzman 2 days ago 2 replies      
Wow, I really like Vine and am surprised that Twitter's visions for its path to profitability don't include such a flourishing community.

Sad news keeps coming today... :(

xxbondsxx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Although a similar content format is available elsewhere, Vine's content and community is pretty unique to their app. I'm disappointed to see it get shut down in that light
caractacus 2 days ago 6 replies      
comScore reports just under 5m uniques for Vine.co last month. It may be down on the height of its popularity but 5m unique users is a decent mass of people to monetise. Seems an odd thing to kill and not at least try to sell.
jackfrodo 2 days ago 6 replies      
This is really annoying. I don't and haven't ever used vine, but how much could it really cost to keep hosting it, and let people continue using it? Why can't companies be okay having products that are revenue neutral that make people happy?
vermontdevil 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why not just sell it? I'm sure there's a buyer somewhere.
jarjoura 2 days ago 0 replies      
All the Vine celebrities have moved on to Instagram and YouTube. I opened it up a few weeks ago, forgetting I still had it installed in a folder, and all the big names I followed hadn't published anything in months. So I deleted the app and decided it was pretty much finished.
konradb 2 days ago 0 replies      
It would be a huge shame if the same fate befell Periscope which I find hugely intriguing - just the ability to look at some arbitrary place in the world.
winteriscoming 2 days ago 1 reply      
Never used Vine app and the vine video don't render on my browser which has flash disabled. But having just read the features of vine app, I'm surprised Twitter decided to let this go. An app which allows creating and playing 6 second video in a loop would, IMO, have been a good fit for advertising content creators and Twitter could have used Vine as one core product in their advertising platform - after all advertising is what is considered as the primary way to make money from services like Twitter.
at-fates-hands 2 days ago 1 reply      
I always thought the main Vine user base was mobile users. That's the only place I've ever used it - which isn't much tbh.

Ironic how everything you create these days has to mobile ready huh? Then here's a company dumping a pretty popular app which is used mainly by a younger demographic who lives by their phones and social media?

I don't see this as a good move - and if its being done to cut costs, it's still not a good move.

thisisdallas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems strange.

If nothing else, it seems like a fantastic ad platform addition.

jrnichols 2 days ago 0 replies      
I loved Vine. Short hilarious videos galore. Not long winded vlogs on youtube.

I'll be pretty sad to see it go. :/ I think that the time limit was great and made people quite creative with how they used the time. the ehBee family was one example.

robtaylor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another lesson on brands being platform agnostic, big Vine, Twitter, Facebook, $whatever numbers count for nowt.
oxguy3 2 days ago 1 reply      
This is pretty sad. I'm not a "proper" Vine user -- I don't even have the app installed -- but I've long loved seeing vines via Twitter or Tumblr. I hope a similar product comes along to fill the void and reunite the Vine community (introducing: YouTube Loops??).
pkrumins 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not surprised. The application never worked in browsers. Everyone was complaining about it for years. It was never fixed. You had to click the play button twenty times to make it play. It was absolutely frustrating experience and I just put a mental block on vine.co domain and app.
shinratdr 2 days ago 0 replies      
So... Vine is shutting down? Why mince words? The app is the only part of the service that you can use to generate content, unless I'm missing something.
kilroy123 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems like twitter is really starting to cut fat and trim down. I'm not surprised at all. No one bought them out. They seem to be overstaffed with a head count of ~2,300.

Sad though.

smpetrey 2 days ago 1 reply      
(Sadly) We should've expected this the moment Twitter acquire Vine. The Vine team no doubt brought some amazing improvements to Twitter since 2012. Sad to see it go.

It's kinda fun seeing a front-page of Vine at any date at the archive.org:


math0ne 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't get it, i mean vine is not changing the world but it still produces a ton of very popular content. Seems like a huge active project to throw out.
rmc 2 days ago 0 replies      
What an incredible journey!
microtherion 2 days ago 0 replies      
I never used Vine myself, but I suspect many eyebrows will be on half-fleek in mourning tonight.
schwede 2 days ago 3 replies      
That's interesting because Vine is shockingly popular with the younger generation.
EA 2 days ago 0 replies      
Did Instagram's Stories kill Vine?

Watching https://vine.co/Trench play tunes of Vine was fun content to watch with my 2-year-old daughter.

misiti3780 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any chance they will open source it ?

It's probably a pretty awesome code base

ohitsdom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Truly shocking. I've mildly enjoyed Vines (not so much the community), and I love the Twitter platform. But now I have no faith in the company or the direction they are trying to find. Yikes.
danielcampos93 2 days ago 3 replies      
but what about all the vine stars? What will they livelihood become?
vecter 2 days ago 1 reply      
I applaud Jack for making a big move to try to save Twitter. I hope to see more big bets from them, especially in the main app. The current course clearly isn't working.
djhworld 2 days ago 0 replies      
I enjoyed using Vine to create small little videos without much friction, you could share a loop with your friends really quickly.

Youtube just seems a pain in comparison

amelius 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Vine is an entertainment community where things happen fast."

Well, that was fast :S

cunotaco 2 days ago 2 replies      
Instagram (Facebook) ate it.

Would be nice, by the way, if they could release the source code. Having such an example of a Flask app would be very useful for the community.

curiousgal 2 days ago 0 replies      
I never knew Vine was part of Twitter, I guess that explains the horrible UX of the web version.
xyzzy4 2 days ago 2 replies      
Congress should make it illegal for a public company to shut down apps that see this much usage, unless the employees are quitting. Some users have 12 million followers.
A Quantum Leap for the Web medium.com
490 points by Manishearth  2 days ago   127 comments top 18
dherman 2 days ago 5 replies      
[disclaimer: I co-founded Mozilla Research, which sponsors Servo]

It's awesome to see the Gecko team continue to tackle big, ambitious projects now that electrolysis is rolling out. And I'm so excited that they're betting big on Servo and Rust. Servo has really been taking advantage of one of Rust's promises: that you can reach for more aggressive parallelism and actually maintain it. I believe recent numbers showed that effectively all of Firefox's users have at least two cores, and about half have at least 4. The more we fully utilize those cores, the smoother we should be able to make the whole web.

Over the last year, all three communities have been laying groundwork to be able to land Rust components in Firefox and share components between Gecko and Servo, and now it looks like that's teed the Gecko team up to commit to making use of some big pieces of Servo in the coming year. Some of the initial builds of Firefox with Stylo that Bobby Holley has showed me look really amazing, and WebRender could be a game-changer.

And the Servo project is just getting warmed up. ;) If you're interested in what they're up to next, check out Jack Moffitt's recent presentation from a browser developer workshop last month:


mtgx 2 days ago 2 replies      
> A first version of our new engine will ship on Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Someday we hope to offer this new engine for iOS, too.

More people need to put pressure on Apple to allow third-party browser engines on iOS. Fortunately, they're already getting sued over this, but just in case that doesn't succeed, there should also be bigger public pressure on Apple to allow them.


bobajeff 2 days ago 7 replies      
This sounds to me like Mozilla is getting impatient with Servo. Servo was more than just a parallel browser engine it was the only new web engine not based off of decade old codebase.

It was a statement that it's feasible to hold off on monoculture because compatibility isn't impossible to achieve on new engines.

aantix 2 days ago 2 replies      
They should use Yahoo's front page as their performance baseline.

Whenever I load it, the favicon starts to flicker, multiple movies (ads) start playing, and I can't tell whether scrolling has been badly hijacked by some rogue js plugin or if the performance of their video playback is just that bad.

mnemonik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quantum wiki page with info on how to get involved: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Quantum
mthoms 2 days ago 1 reply      
I hope that low power usage remains a key priority. Surprisingly, I don't see any mention of it in this article.
yalooze 2 days ago 3 replies      
Does anyone know how this compares to the current implementations of competing browsers? ie. is Firefox still playing catch up in some respects or is this leaps ahead of the competition too?
TeeWEE 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can make a super fast web browser, but that doesnt solve the fundamental issue: The web is not designed for performant applications. Resources loading, javascript, rendering... Solve that first before you build a fast engine...

Off course a fast engine is good. But dont forget the root problems with the web.

c-smile 2 days ago 1 reply      
"But nowadays we browse the web on ... that have much more sophisticated processors, often with two, four or even more cores."

Having batched GPU rendering / rasterization makes real sense, yes. When it shown, the browser is the largest screen space consumer.

4K displays (300ppi) increased number of pixels that need to be painted by 9 times. Thus CPU rendering / rasterization is not the option anymore, yes.

But browser is not the only process competing for those cores.

2 or even 4 cores ... You have more front running applications than that these days. Some of them are invisible but still CPU intense.

In order to get significant benefits from parallelism in browsers the number of cores shall be measured in tens at least I think. If not even more than that. To run things in parallel like bunch of Cassowary solvers for each BFC container.

I suspect that the main bottleneck at the moment is in existence of methods [1] that force synchronous layout / reflow of the content. These are things that kill parallel execution. DOM API shall change towards batch updates or other more parallel friendly means.

[1] https://gist.github.com/paulirish/5d52fb081b3570c81e3a

TekMol 2 days ago 7 replies      

 well be rolling out the first stage of Electrolysis to 100% of Firefox desktop users over the next few months.
From my experiments with it, this still does not fix the problem that the javascript in all windows shares one core. A script running in one browser window still slows down the other windows.

A problem that Chrome has solved years ago. So I think this is not really a leap for the web. Just FireFox catching up a bit.

FireFox is my main browser. The way I deal with it is that I start multiple instances as different users. So they run inside their own process. This way I can have a resource hungry page open in one window (For example a dashboard with realtime data visualization) and still work smoothly in another.

runeks 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't understand what the difference is between Quantum and Servo. To me it sounds like a new name for the same thing. I recall Servo being promoted this way three years ago.
bandrami 2 days ago 3 replies      
Pet peeve of mine: a "quantum leap" is literally the smallest change of state that is physically possible, but it's come to mean the opposite in popular use.
k26dr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't Chrome/Chromium already run as multiple processes?
andrewstuart 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish I could see how much processing power/memory was being taken by each tab.
joshmarinacci 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's about damn time!
mxuribe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looking forward to this!
ifhs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sorry but posting this on medium is a quantum leap backwards. That too from Mozilla.
criddell 2 days ago 4 replies      
Heh. It's interesting to me that in the vernacular a quantum leap is a large change while in physics it's a very quick, extremely tiny event.
Ask HN: What are the best personal project websites you've seen?
503 points by Xcelerate  2 days ago   283 comments top 131
dougk16 2 days ago 20 replies      
First the master: http://worrydream.com/

Surprised nobody's posted it yet.

Other people are also posting their own, so here's mine: http://www.dougkoellmer.com/

Other job-hunt-specific efforts:http://www.dougkoellmer.com/portfolio/http://www.dougkoellmer.com/resume/http://www.dougkoellmer.com/games/

Can't be totally sure but I believe they've gotten me a job or two.

sogen 2 days ago 1 reply      

Stumbled upon this one yesterday, it's from a paper, but well written:https://mzucker.github.io/2016/09/20/noteshrink.html

A long time favorite writer:http://www.frankchimero.com/writing/the-webs-grain/

jjp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Content, content, content and then presentation.

You need to think of yourself as the product and work out what's the best way to describe and package the skills and experiences that you have already acquired and how they can be applied to whatever your target companies are looking for.

Also think about whether you are using your portfolio site for lead generation or lead qualification. Lead generation means that you'll have recruiters finding your portfolio off the back of your SEO and they contact you. Whereas lead qualification means you are selling your self to a hiring manager/expert after they've read your resume and decided that they want to check your credibility before interviewing.

actualdc1 2 days ago 1 reply      

Does gwern fall into this category? While I'd need to know more about what he's like in person, the author certainly seems like a technically competent individual.

Ruphin 2 days ago 2 replies      
I must say http://acko.net is easily the most impressive personal site I've visited.

This is mine: https://ruph.inIt's something I threw together recently, but it's still missing some content. I like the style though :)

brudgers 2 days ago 1 reply      
Designing a personal website can be an interesting learning experience and an engaging creative act expressing a strong sense of aesthetic judgment and philosophy. On the other hand, there's something to be said for not overcooking the pudding and just giving the user what they're likely to be looking for.




beefman 2 days ago 3 replies      
Daniel Johnson's blog is hard to beat


Stephen Wittens' site is another that comes to mind


chris_7 2 days ago 4 replies      
It seems like a lot of these are very promotional - using a lot of superlatives to describe the person, and all of their work/accomplishments. Is this necessary? I feel very uncomfortable doing that sort of thing, it feels cringey I guess.
jswrenn 2 days ago 0 replies      
These two, by Jack Qiao: http://jack.works/http://jack.ventures/

These sites have set the standard of beautiful personal website for me. Despite their modern appearances, they're both just static sites, generated with bash: https://github.com/Jack000/Expose

philipmjohnson 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently designed a template (based on GitHub Pages, Jekyll, and Semantic UI) to support professional portfolio development by my students:


You can see a bunch of examples here:


octref 2 days ago 2 replies      
ollerac 2 days ago 3 replies      

 from scratch, no css framework responsive portrait by alisabishop.com
i'd love feedback!

edit: feel free to use it as a template for your own site! https://github.com/panphora/davidmirandainfo

Gigablah 2 days ago 2 replies      

A jaw-dropping website by Steven Wittens that pushes the boundaries of what your browser can do. Nothing I've seen has ever topped this wizardry.

(You should view it on desktop, with WebGL capability.)

Kequc 2 days ago 1 reply      
Design is entirely personal preference. Therefore information-first is a good bet if you want to absorb as large of a demographic as possible. Keep the layout and page design simple. Load times should be fast or nearly instant for that sleek professional feel.

Minimalist modern design, sans any kind of framework (like Bootstrap for example) is the name of the game.

icco 2 days ago 1 reply      
http://natwelch.com is mine, I use it more as a cover letter to try and get people to contact me. It works somewhat well.

I love looking at people's personal sites though. I've got a small index of them from over the years at http://pinboard.in/u:icco/t:personal.

patmcguire 2 days ago 0 replies      

It's an interactive Game of Thrones map. It shows you where everyone is at a given time. You select who you want to track, drag through time and the character path trails show up on the map. The interface is genius, best I've seen for messing around with (thing, place, time) triples.

tbrock 2 days ago 0 replies      
Man page formatting for the win, no bull shit:


jefflombardjr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Simple and Functional: http://andrew.hedges.name/

A horrible website for horrible people (in the style of CAH): http://jefflombard.com/

(full disclaimer last one is my own site, anyone is welcome to clone it, it's based off of cards against humanity and available under creative commons: https://github.com/jefflombard/jefflombard.com)

blobman 2 days ago 3 replies      
I've been running my personal projects website ( http://www.michalpaszkiewicz.co.uk ) for just over 2 years and I get a job offer almost every week (not just the typical spamming recruiters, but startup owners who said they liked my work). I'm also pretty certain I got my current job due to the fact I could impress my interviewers with my open source code. My design isn't great but what counts is the amount of material that is out there and how good it is. I'm not looking for design jobs, so my lack of design skills doesn't matter.
protomikron 2 days ago 2 replies      
http://bellard.org :) Content wins.
xoher 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no one has posted about Andrej Karpathy.


unimpressive 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't seen very many personal project sites I'm afraid, but Neil Cicierega's looks nice:


clebio 1 day ago 1 reply      
trengrj 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love this one: http://mrdoob.com/

I've just updated my blog and would appreciate any feedback https://trengrj.net/

louismerlin 2 days ago 2 replies      

Kept it minimal :)

sudhakarrayav 2 days ago 1 reply      
When I did put myself in potential recruiters shoes, I came up with this one page drawing to quickly showcase what I am and what I know


It was even helpful to kickstart conversations in meetups / other technical gatherings

eknight15 2 days ago 2 replies      
Mine, for UI/UX design: https://evanwknight.com
wkoszek 2 days ago 1 reply      
I feel like a lot of people in this thread show very flashy websites. But honestly, if your work is decent, some people will notice regardless of how you present it. Since you ask this question, I doubt you'd make your website total crap.

Most of the time more people e.g.: watch my github page: http://github.com/wkoszek page than my real website http://www.koszek.com since its harder to find you on a separate website. This is unless you market it.

To summarise: enter the http://cr.yp.to/ and see how good the content is and how you're ok with no form too, if content is outstanding.

irl_zebra 2 days ago 0 replies      
I saw one on here that I've bookmarked and have been using pretty frequently. Great for getting a file over to a group of people I think. I used it once for myself as well, pretty neat!


djmill 2 days ago 0 replies      

This is a site I built for myself, friends, and the public; however, I haven't promoted it much... Trying to get more users, but it's been under construction for a while. Nothing fancy, but I wanted to build something that was free for users.

Also to the poster: side projects are great, showing off your pet project is awesome, but I can say that a lot of employers don't even care to look at them... I cannot speak for ALL employers, but a lot of the time interviewers and employers don't have the time to poke around in your side projects - they're very busy too. It's kind of a shame

aub3bhat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am a graduate student with similar goals (though already have a job)

Here is my site:


I optimized it for following:

0. Responsive

1. Easy to understand layout

2. Images to highlight projects

3. A professional picture.

4. Contact & email information.

Don't bother fighting email collecting bots, they already have billions of them due to breaches and most likely yours if it appears on Have I Been Pwned. Rather I recommend optimizing on usability and making it easier for human reader to send you an email.

Note: The design looks slightly different on desktop and mobile. E.g. on desktop it loads institution logos and uses a two columns or efficient use of the space.

dmvaldman 2 days ago 1 reply      
I happen to like my own. Go figure. http://samsarajs.org

It's a UI library for animating 3D web stuff, so it should look pretty. Suggestions to improve are welcome!

lukaszkups 2 days ago 1 reply      
Like many of before me, I'll share my own website (currently in redesign, so I'll provide links via internet archive) - built in Nanoc3, hosted on github pages:

Main page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150801213611/http://lukaszkups...

Experience page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150826004819/http://lukaszkups...

About page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150826004912/http://lukaszkups...

Contact page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150826004918/http://lukaszkups...

Blog page: https://web.archive.org/web/20150826004935/http://lukaszkups...

I will release new design next week, based on brand-new static site generator ;)

patricklynch 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sarah Federman - http://sarah.codes/

Sarah Drasner - http://sarahdrasnerdesign.com/

Assume whoever looks at your portfolio is going to scroll from top to bottom first, get a first impression, then _maybe_ click through things later.

So build for the question "What do I want people to see if they scroll through my site without clicking on anything?"

pimterry 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sara Soueidan's is pretty great - https://sarasoueidan.com/ - especially the speaking section. She's amazing generally though, so it's quite a high bar!

I had some good feedback on mine as well - https://tim.fyi - and I'm pretty happy with it (love to hear what other people think too though). After the intro though, it's more about highlighting recent specific projects and talks and articles, rather than acting as a full CV. Sounds like that might be what you're going for?

If I were you, I'd keep it simple. Go for a short simple intro that highlights what you're about, a two or three sentence summary of what you've done and what you're good at, and then keep the body as something that gives more of a feel of what you're about and up to right now. Links to blog articles, things you're tweeting about etc.

You can provide an actual CV for people who want to dig into the details of your list of achievements and research in more detail, but if this is the first place people hear about you and it's your personal site, then a sense of personality and active things going on is more important imo.

StavrosK 2 days ago 0 replies      
Going by what I do, the answer to your question is a bit problematic. I don't work on projects for others, I work on them for myself, and merely like showing them to others, so I'm bad at keeping a list of everything in one place and up-to-date.

That said, I did try to create a single page of some of my projects so people can look at them more easily: https://www.stavros.io/projects/

The other day I also decided to give my resume some love, so I created a single page with side-projects I believe to be worthy of mention: http://resume.stavros.io/

Maybe those two will give you some idea. I've scrolled through some of the other responses in this thread, but I'm not sure I like the project sites that are tech demos themselves. They seem to conflate "optimizing the listing of projects" with "optimizing showing a project". Most of the linked sites are great tech demos, but very bad at getting me to click on the actual posts themselves. Then again, maybe mine is worse.

andreesg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting how this question is becoming a source of examples for personal website!

Mine: http://www.goncalves.me

Some nice ones on top of my head:

* http://victorfern91.github.io/

* http://www.rleonardi.com/interactive-resume/

* http://jon.gold/

hnarayanan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also posting own website: https://harishnarayanan.org/

As the original poster, I too have been through many years of grad school. I have not needed to interview for jobs, and believe my website has sold me well.

blueatlas 2 days ago 0 replies      
fredley 2 days ago 0 replies      
A personal project website that's a personal project in itself.
hairy_man674 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here is the ideal of what every site should look like:


edit: Seriously, why does a site need to be like a fucking pop-up book?!

Oras 2 days ago 0 replies      
A blog about stuff you worked on and challenged you tackled will be more than enough for potential employer.

Not sure if it fits the context but have a look at Matthias Noback website http://php-and-symfony.matthiasnoback.nl/

Timethy 2 days ago 0 replies      

A one man hardware & software powerhouse. He is an old-school EE in Japan and his personal projects are astounding in breadth and